In vivo activity of selected medicinal plants in Kenya against Trypanosoma evansi.
Chloroform extracts from two Kenyan medicinal plants (Azadirachta indica/ neem leaves, 500 mg/ kg, 250mg/kg and 125mg/kg and Physalis peruviana 1000mg/kg, 500mg /kg and 250mg/kg body weights) were analysed in vivo for trypanocidal activity against Trypanosoma evansi. Experimental mice were injected with T. evansi KETRI 2450 and the drugs administered intraperitoneally at the onset of parasitaemia. Treated animals were then monitored for parasitaemia starting the following day after treatment.
In comparison to suramin, the standard drug, extract of both A. indica leaves and P. peruviana were observed to express trypanocidal activity better than standard drug. High activity was found for extract of A. indica leaves (500mg/kg body weight) which completely cleared the parasites from infected mice by 24 days post treatment. Following this observation, it is recommended that future studies should address purification, structure eluci dation and biochemical characteristic of active components of Azadirachta indica leaves. This study has confirmed the hypothesis that some plants used in control of trypanosomiasis in Kenya have trypnocidal potential.
Keywords: African trypanosomosis, Medicinal Plants, Anti-trypanosomal activity, In vivo model.