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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 123-130

Combination and monotherapy of leishmania major infection in balb/c mice using plant extracts and herbicides

1 School of Science, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
2 Center for Biotechnology Research and Development (CBRD), Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Nairobi, Kenya
3 Mombasa Technical Training Institute, Department of Applied Sciences, Mombasa, Kenya

Correspondence Address:
Judith A Makwali
School of Science, Department of Biological Sciences, Chepkoilel Campus, Moi University, P.O. Box 1125, Eldoret 30100
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background & objectives: Leishmaniasis is a growing health problem in many parts of the world. Efforts to find new chemotherapeutics for leishmaniasis remain a priority. This study was carried out to determine the effect of combination and monotherapies using plant extracts and herbicides on Leishmania major infection in BALB/c mice. Methods: The herbicides and saponin extract were purchased from Sigma. Roots of Plumbago capensis were collected from Karura forest, Nairobi, Kenya. Plant extractions were done in KEMRI at Center for Traditional Medicines and Drugs Research. Results: Lesion sizes after infection of BALB/c mice were similar in all the experimental groups till the onset of therapeutic treatments (p >0.05). At 15 days post-treatment, significant differences (p < 0.05) were discerned in the lesion sizes of the BALB/c mice in all the mono- and combined-treated groups. However, the combined therapies caused total elimination of the parasites from the lesions and significantly reduced parasite burden in liver 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 alternative administration of saponin, acriflavine, trifluralin and plumbagin is effective in treating L. major infection in mice. In this regard, an investigation into the efficacy of these combined therapies against other Leishmania strains should be explored further. Furthermore, studies with these combination therapies should be done on non-human primates such as the vervet monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops).

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