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Effect of "Acalypha wilkesiana" MuellArg Leaf Extract on the Oxidative Indices, Liver Enzymes and Liver Integrity of Rats Infected with "Plasmodium berghei"

Parallel abstracts

This study investigates the effect of the methanolic extract of Acalypha wilkesiana on the oxidative stress caused by Plasmodium berghei infection and on the liver of parasitized animals. Phytochemical screening of the extract reveals that it is rich in flavonoids, carotenoids and sterols. Our results showed that liver Malondialdehyde (MDA) significantly (p<0.05) increased while Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), (Glutathione peroxide) GSH-P, reduced Glutathione (rGSH) and Catalase (CAT) decreased (p<0.05) in the parasitized non-treated rats, evident of increase in lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress following P. berghei infection. Extract treatment of the parasitized rats was observed to reverse the effects of the oxidative stress and restore the elevated liver enzymes; on the other hand, extract treatment of the non-parasitized rats increased antioxidant molecule levels, thus increasing their free radicals scavenging activity. The extract was also observed to extend the mean survival time of treated rats and improve malaria symptoms. Histological examination of the liver of treated and non-treated animals reveals that the extract may have a hepato-protective as there were no observable cellular defects. These findings suggest that the extract can be useful in management of oxidative stress to the biological system e.g., during malaria infection.