Back to Journals » Research and Reports in Tropical Medicine » Volume 9

Antimalarial activity of Cucumis metuliferus and Lippia kituiensis against Plasmodium berghei infection in mice

Authors Mzena T, Swai H, Chacha M

Received 26 August 2017

Accepted for publication 24 November 2017

Published 22 May 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 81—88


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Unnasch

Theopista Mzena, Hulda Swai,* Musa Chacha*

School of Life Sciences and Bio-Engineering, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: The search for new antimalarial drugs has become progressively urgent due to plasmodial resistance to most of the commercially available antimalarial drugs. As part of this effort, the study evaluated the antimalarial activity of Cucumis metuliferus and Lippia kituiensis, which are traditionally used in Tanzania for the treatment of malaria.
Materials and methods: In vivo antimalarial activity was assessed using the 4-day suppressive antimalarial assay. Mice were infected by injecting via tail vein 1×107 erythrocytes infected by Plasmodium berghei ANKA. Extracts were administered orally; chloroquine (10 mg/kg/day) and dimethyl sulfoxide (5 mL/kg/day) were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. The level of parasitemia, survival time, packed cell volume (PCV) and variation in body weight of mice were used to determine the antimalarial activity of the extract.
The ethyl acetate, methanolic and chloroform extracts of C. metuliferus and L. kituiensis significantly (p<0.05) inhibited parasitemia in a dose-dependent manner and prevented loss of body weight at the dose levels of 600 mg/kg and 1500 mg/kg, respectively. In addition, the extracts prolonged the mean survival time of P. berghei-infected mice compared to the non-treated control. The plant extracts did not show reduction of PCV except at the low dose of 300 mg/kg. The highest suppression was recorded at the dose level of 1,500 mg/kg. At this dose, C. metuliferus in chloroform, methanolic and ethyl acetate extracts had percentage suppression of 98.55%, 88.89% and 84.39%, respectively, whereas L. kituiensis in ethyl acetate, chloroform and methanolic extracts exhibited suppression of the pathogens of 95.19%, 93.88% and 74.83%, respectively.
Conclusion: It is worth reporting that the two plants induced suppression which is equivalent to that induced by chloroquine (C. metuliferus chloroform and L. Kituiensis ethyl acetate). The two plants have been demonstrated to be potential sources of antimalarial templates.

Keywords: malaria, Cucumis metuliferus, Lippia kituiensis, suppression, Plasmodium berghei, crude extracts

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]