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Aim: Medicinal plants have been used for the treatment of many infections and diseases including malaria. The study was conducted to determine the effect of in vivo anti-plasmodial and antioxidant properties of the methanolic leaf extract of Morinda lucida in male Swiss albino mice infected with Plasmodium Berghei NK65.
Study Design and Methodology: Phytochemical, GC-MS and AAS analyses were determined in the plant. Swiss albino mice were inoculated intraperitoneally with Plasmodium berghei NK65. Thirty-five (35) mice were grouped into seven groups, five per group. Group A were not infected with P.berghei NK65. Group B, C and D served as the negative and positive control groups while Group E, F and G mice were treated with 400, 600 and 800 mg/kg body weight of methanolic leaf extract of M. lucida. Haematological parameters were determined in the whole blood using BC-3200 Auto Hematology Analyzer. TP, MDA, CAT, SOD % inhibition, SOD unit and vitamin A were all determined in the liver homogenate using standard procedures.
Results: The GC-MS result of the M. lucida shows the presence of five bioactive compounds. It was also observed that the plant contains the following minerals: iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and copper. Acute toxicity shows that the LD50 >000mg/Kg b.wt. The extract caused 30.96%, 32.93% and 67.23% reduction in parasitemia at 400, 600 and 800 mg/kg body weight respectively while chloroquine exerted 96.53% and artesunate exerted 92.03% reduction at 10 mg/kg body weight respectively. The Haematological parameters showed that the plant extract is not haematotoxic since it significantly (P<0.05) reduced WBC count, and increase RBC, HGB, and HCT values in the treated mice compared to the infected untreated mice. This study shows that the mean lipid peroxidation (MDA) level was significantly decreased in the malaria treated mice (group C, D, E, F and G) compared to the untreated mice (group B). There was also a significant increase in the total protein, catalase, SOD % inhibition, SOD unit and Vitamin A levels in the liver homogenate of animals treated with chloroquine, artesunate and extract of M. lucida compared to the untreated mice.
Conclusions: The study shows that Morinda lucida possess antiplasmodial activity in male Swiss mice infected with Plasmodium berghei NK 65.
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