Antiprotozoal investigation of three Combretum species (Combretaceae) growing in Nigeria

OMONIKE O. OGBOLE, TOLUWANIMI E. AKINLEYE, PETER A. SEGUN, PIUS S. FASINU

Abstract

Introduction: Combretum species has been utilised for decades in African indigenous medical practices for the treatment of several parasitic infections. Objectives: This study aims at investigating the antileishmanial, antiplasmodial and antitrypanosomal properties of Combretum racemosum, Combretum platypterum and Combretum zenkeri. Methods: The leaf extracts of the plants were screened against two strains of Plasmodium falciparum using Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) assay; promastigote and amastigote forms of Leishmania donovani; and Trypanosoma brucei brucei using Alamar Blue assay. Cytotoxicity screening were also carried out on African green monkey kidney cell line (Vero) and human monocytic leukemia (THP-1) cell lines. Results: C. racemosum was active against chloroquine-sensitive (D6) and chloroquine-resistant (W2) strains of P. falciparum (IC50 of 25.6 and 26.7 μg/ml, respectively) and exerted significant antiprotozoal activities against T. brucei brucei (IC50 = 18.44 μg/ml). The extract of C. platypterum displayed a slightly lower antiplasmodial activity when compared to C. racemosum, while C. zenkeri was inactive against the parasites. In addition, the extracts failed to display significant inhibitory activity on the proliferation of L. donovani. Conclusions: This study supports the ethnomedicinal use of C. racemosum. Further research needs to be carried out to identify the antiprotozoal compounds in C. racemosum, as this could be explored for possible antiprotozoal drug development.
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