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The anti-plasmodia activity of crude methanol extract and column fractions of methanol extract of Moringa oleifera leaves were evaluated in this study. Seventy-two Swiss albino mice randomized into eighteen groups were inoculated with chloroquine sensitive NK65 strain of Plasmodium berghei. Animals in Group 1 (negative control) were treated with physiological saline while Group 2 (positive control) were treated with 5mg/kg chloroquine. The remaining sixteen groups were treated with crude methanol extracts and seven column fractions of the crude extract of Moringa oleifera leaves at 50 and 100mg/kg for four days. Anti-malarial activity was determined by taking blood smears from the tail on day-four. Results showed that low doses of fractions F2 and F5 had a higher activity than the high dose of the crude extract statistically significant (p<0.05) in F5 but not in F2 (p>0.05). The mean percentage parasite suppression in the positive control group was higher than that of F5 fraction but not significantly (p>0.05). Alanine aminotransferase activity was significantly reduced (p<0.05) in animals treated with crude extract when compared with those treated with F2 and F5 and negative control while Aspartate aminotransferase activity was elevated in negative and positive controls but significantly reduced (p<0.05) in F2 and F5 groups. The findings of this study confirm the presence of anti-plasmodial compounds in the leaves of Moringa oleifera.
Keywords: anti-plasmodial, Moringa oleifera, Plasmodium berghei.