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In vitro Antileishmanial Activity of Some Ethiopian Medicinal Plants

Authors Nigatu H, Belay A, Ayalew H, Abebe B, Tadesse A, Tewabe Y, Degu A

Received 2 October 2020

Accepted for publication 12 December 2020

Published 15 January 2021 Volume 2021:13 Pages 15—22


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bal Lokeshwar

Hulubanchi Nigatu,1 Alemnesh Belay,1 Hiwot Ayalew,1 Besufekad Abebe,1 Alemu Tadesse,1 Yitagesu Tewabe,1 Abel Degu2

1Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; 2Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Hiwot Ayalew
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University, P.O. Box 1176, Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Introduction: Leishmaniasis is a group of diseases caused by protozoan parasites, which remains a burden for developing countries. The lack of a vaccine as well as the emergence of resistance toward the recommended drugs pose a challenge for the control of the disease. This urges the demand for new antileishmanial agents to prevent and treat this disease. Consequently, four Ethiopian plants were selected and tested for their antileishmanial activity against two Leishmanial parasites.
Methods: Methanol (80%) was used to macerate the plant materials. In vitro antipromastigote activity of the crude extracts was then tested against promastigotes and axenically cultured amastigotes of Leishmania aethiopica and Leishmania donovani clinical isolates using Alamar Blue assay, and cell viability was measured fluorometrically. 1% DMSO and the media were used as a negative control while amphotericin B was used as a positive control. Furthermore, preliminary phytochemical analysis of the extracts was performed.
Results: From the four plants’ extracts, Ferula communis and Otostegia integrifolia showed better activity with IC50 value of 11.38± 0.55 and 13.03± 0.87 μg/mL against L. aethiopica, respectively. However, the same plant extracts exhibited lower activity against L. donovani with IC50 values of 23.41± 2.32 and 17.24± 1.29 μg/mL, respectively. O. integrifolia exhibited highest effect against amastigotes of L. aethiopica (IC50: 16.84± 0.65) and L. donovani (IC50:14.55± 0.38). F. communis resulted second highest in growth inhibition against amastigotes of L. aethiopica and L. donovani with IC50 value of 14.32± 0.54 and 31.12± 0.19, respectively. The phytochemical analysis of the extracts indicated the presence of phenol, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, terpenoids, and alkaloids.
Conclusion: The findings from this study demonstrate that crude extracts of F. communis and O. integrifolia showed promising antileishmanial activity against L. aethiopica and L. donovani that may be attributed to the presence of different secondary metabolites.

Keywords: antileishmanial activity, in vitro, Leishmania aethiopica, Leishmania donovani, medicinal plants

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