IN VIVO ANTIPLASMODIAL EFFICACY OF FRACTIONS OF CRUDE METHANOLIC ROOT EXTRACT OF MORINDA LUCIDA
Significant progress has been made in the control of malaria, but effective treatment of the disease remains a big challenge. Development of antiparasitic drugs from medicinal plants continues to be a very appealing option. Therapeutic effects of the crude methanol extract of Morinda lucida root and its fractions were evaluated in Plasmodium berghei - infected mice by assessing the curative effect and mean survival period after administration of the extracts. Preliminary toxicological study of the crude extract showed the LD50 to be 3800 mg/kg, while phytochemical screening showed the presence of saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids and tannins. The crude extract and two fractions obtained from it (fractions 3 and 4) exhibited significant curative antiplasmodial effects that manifested in a longer survival period for the treated mice compared to the control (29.25±1.43, 11.25±0.75, 11.75±1.60, 24.25±1.11, 28.50±1.32, and 5.75±2.14, for crude extract, fraction 1, fraction 2, fraction 3, fraction 4, and control groups respectively). However, the group of infected mice treated with Chloroquine drug demonstrated a longer survival period (over 28 days) and a higher percentage (%) suppression of parasites. It is concluded that the methanol extract of Morinda lucida root and two of its fractions are potentially useful for the development of antimalarial drugs.