Effect of seed extract of Picralima nitida on haematological parameters of malaria-infected albino mice and its interference with the serum electrolyte levels
Low red blood cell (RBC) and white blood cell (WBC) counts, packed cell volume (PCV) and haemoglobin (Hb) concentration are indicative of parasitaemia in malaria patients. One of the adverse effects of drugs is their interference with the serum electrolytes balance thereby impairing certain movements such as muscular movement in the body. This research project was aimed at assessing the ameliorative effects of ethanol seed extract of Picralima nitida on the haematological parameters of malaria-infected mice and its interference with the serum electrolytes especially potassium ion (K+) and sodium ion (Na+). Pulverised dried seeds of P. nitida were extracted using ethanol. The haematological parameters and the serum electrolyte levels were assessed in mice. The result of the analyses showed that the RBC and WBC counts, PCV and Hb concentration of mice groups treated with 20, 40 and 80 mg/kg b.w. of the extract and 5 mg/kg b.w. of artesunate were significantly (p < 0.05) higher compared to the ones inoculated with malaria parasite and treated with placebo (positive control) on days 3 and 5 post treatment. The serum K+ concentration of the treated groups was non-significantly (p > 0.05) lower compared to the positive control on days 3 and 5 post treatment. However, the Na+ concentration of the treated groups was significantly (p < 0.05) higher compared to the positive control on days 3 and 5 post treatment. The seed extract of P. nitida was found to increase the blood cells count, haemoglobin concentration and PCV; these parameters are normally adversely affected in malaria patient. However, treatment with this extract can interfere with the level of the serum electrolytes thereby causing electrolyte imbalance which could be life-threatening.
Keywords: Anti-malarial, haematological, serum electrolytes, Picralima nitida