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Combination and monotherapy of Leishmania major infection in BALB/c mice using plant extracts and herbicides

Author(s): Judith A. Makwali , Frederick M.E. Wanjala , Josyline C. Kaburi , Johnstone Ingonga , Wabwoba W. Byrum & Christopher O. Anjili

Journal: Journal of Vector Borne Diseases
ISSN 0972-9062

Volume: 49;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 123;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Antileishmanial activity | herbicides | Leishmania major | plant extracts

Background & objectives: Leishmaniasis is a growing health problem in many parts of the world. Efforts to findnew chemotherapeutics for leishmaniasis remain a priority. This study was carried out to determine the effect ofcombination and monotherapies using plant extracts and herbicides on Leishmania major infection in BALB/cmice.Methods: The herbicides and saponin extract were purchased from Sigma. Roots of Plumbago capensis werecollected from Karura forest, Nairobi, Kenya. Plant extractions were done in KEMRI at Center for TraditionalMedicines and Drugs Research.Results: Lesion sizes after infection of BALB/c mice were similar in all the experimental groups till the onset oftherapeutic treatments (p >0.05). At 15 days post-treatment, significant differences (p < 0.05) were discerned inthe lesion sizes of the BALB/c mice in all the mono- and combined-treated groups. However, the combinedtherapies caused total elimination of the parasites from the lesions and significantly reduced parasite burden inliver and spleen compared to the untreated controls at the end of the experiment.Interpretation & conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate that combination therapy using alternativeadministration of saponin, acriflavine, trifluralin and plumbagin is effective in treating L. major infection inmice. In this regard, an investigation into the efficacy of these combined therapies against other Leishmaniastrains should be explored further. Furthermore, studies with these combination therapies should be done onnon-human primates such as the vervet monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops).

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