BACKGROUND: Malaria is an anaemic and life-threatening disease, caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, especially in the tropics. AIM: This study evaluated the efficacy of the aqueous leaf extract of Cochorus olitorus (Jute) against the depletion of three selected minerals (Calcium (Ca), Iron (Fe) and Magnesium (Mg)) in the blood of Plasmodium berghei infected Swiss Albino rats.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the phytochemical constituents of the leaf extract of Cochorus olitorus. Also, to compare the mean parasitemia as well as the estimated mineral levels in relation to the treatments of the Cochorus olitorus leaf extract. METHODOLOGY: Matured fresh leaves of C. olitorius were collected from Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. The leaves were cleaned and washed of any visible debris and cooldried in shade and then prepared by maceration. Phytochemical screening of the extracts was conducted for its qualitative and quantitative constituents. The experimental rats were administered varying curative doses (0 mg/kg, 250 mg/kg, 500 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg) of the aqueous extract of C. olitorius once daily. Mineral supplementation and antiplasmodial activities was evaluated by a curative test, after infecting the rat models with Plasmodium berghei.
RESULTS: From the result obtained, C. olitorius indicated the presence of saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides and anthraquinones. A high significant difference A high significant difference (P<0.001) was observed in mean parasitemia level in the Swiss Albino rats across C. olitorius treatments in which parasitemia was highest in the control group but low in the group treated with the highest dose (1000 mg/kg) of the extract.The comparison of the effect of Plasmodium infection on mean change in the 3 minerals concentrations in relation to baseline and post-baseline for each C. olitorius leaf aqueous extract treatment showed no variation (P>0.05) with the exception of two Ca groups, 500 0.05) in mean concentration between baseline and post- mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg which varied significantly (P>baseline period).
CONCLUSION: The current study has thus established the relationship between mineral supplementation and antiplasmodial activity of C. olitorius in Swiss Albino rats. The activity demonstrated by the plant was dose dependent. Hence, this study suggests the use of the C. olitorius plant for minerals supplementation and suppression of Plasmodium infection.