Antimalarial Activity of Solvent and Alkaloid Fractions of Kleinia abyssinica
In Ethiopia, the roots of Kleinia abyssinica (A. Rich.) A. Berger are used traditionally for the treatment of malaria. In the present study, the 80% methanol extract as well as solvent and alkaloid fractions prepared from the powdered roots of K. abyssinica were tested for their in vivo antimalarial activity using mice infected with Plasmodium berghei parasites in a four-day suppressive test. Preliminary investigation showed that the crude 80% methanol extract significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited parsitaemia of P. berghei in mice. Investigation of the activity of solvent fractions of the plant revealed that the petroleum ether and methanol fractions displayed better suppression than those of the chloroform and acetone fractions. However, the alkaloid extract obtained from the methanol fraction displayed maximum activity suppressing significantly (p < 0.05) the growth of P. berghei at dose levels of 100, 200, 400, and 800 mg/kg/day compared to the mice in the negative control group. The ED50 for the total alkaloid was found to be 60.77 mg/kg/day. In conclusion the present study confirmed the traditional uses of the plant in the treatment of malaria and that alkaloids contribute to the overall antimalarial activity.
Keywords: Kleinia abyssinica, roots, four-day suppressive test, Plasmodium berghei, alkaloid fraction