Efficacy Of Urtica Massaica, Cassia Didymobotrya And Balanites Aegyptiaca Against Schistoma Mansoni In Balbic Mice And Their Molluscicidal Effects On Vector Snail, Biomphalaria Pfeifferi
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Schistosomiasis continues to be a serious worldwide public health problem. Praziquantel is the most effective drug against all adult stages of human schistosomes. It has become the drug of choice for morbidity control of schistosomiasis. However it is not a satisfying situation to have only one drug. Ideally other drugs should be available so that the strategy of avoiding development of drug resistance could be followed. Therefore, there is need for new drugs. The use of plants for treatment of vario us diseases is universal. Three plants, Urtica massaica, Cassia didymobotrya and Cassia Balanites aegyptiaca have been used locally to treat bilharziasis in Nyakach and Mbita, Kenya. Consequently animal model study was sought to evaluate the efficacy of these plant in schistosome infected BALB/c mice. Seventy mice were infected and randomly grouped as follows; mice in group AL were treated with plant U massaica; Group 08 mice were treated with C. didymobotrya while group OT mice were treated with B. aegyptiaca. Group C, the control was not given any treatment. Immunological, pathological and parasitological assays were used to measure the efficacy of these plants. Five mice from each group were assayed per sampling point. The study found that there was statistically no significant difference in lymphocyte and JgG response between treated and control mice (P>0.05). Mice were perfused for adult worm recovery at week 6 and 7 post infection. Moderate granuloma was observed in livers from all the mice at week 6.However, at week 7 the pathology had changed to severe in all groups. The percentage worm reduction at week 6 was; group AL, - 0.28.13%, OB, -37.5% and OT, 18.75% while at week 7 it was; AL, -1.14%, 08, -10.23 % and OT, 6.82%. A slight decrease in granuloma size was observed jn treated inice at week 7. However this study found that the differences in worm count and granuloma size among the treated and untreated mice was statistically not significant (P > 0.05). The three p~~nts were not effective against Schistosoma mansoni in 13ALB/c mice. This study also endeavored to evaluate the molluscicidal potency of the three plants. Five snails were exposed to concentrations of 80, 40 and 10 mg/I of each plant extract for a period of24 hours. This was compared with five snails placed in water only (control). The number of dead snails exposed to the three plants was; U massaica, 0, C. didymobotrya, 4 and B .aegyptiaca, 2. These results reveal that plants, C. didymobotrya and B .aegyptiaca have molluscicidal potency against snail host, Biomphalaria pfeifferi. It is recommended that definitive screening of C. didymobotrya and B. aegyptiaca should be carried out for molluscicidal potency.