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Background: Malaria is still considered a major public health problem in developing countries. The malaria parasite has develop resistant to orthodox drugs over the years, thus need for herbal remedy.
Aim: This study is aimed at investigating the antiplasmodial potency of ethanolic leaf extract of Carica papaya against Plasmodium berghei in infected Swiss albino mice.
Methods: Fresh and health leaves of C. papaya free from disease were harvested from the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Ibadan. They were air dried, milled into powder and extracted using soxhlet apparatus and ethanol as the solvent. Thirty Swiss albino mice weighing obtained from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, were acclimatized for seven (7) days and divided into six groups. Each mouse in groups 2 to 6 was inoculated intraperitoneally with infected blood suspension containing about 1x107Plasmodium berghei parasitized red blood cells on day zero while those in group 1 were not infected and this served as the normal control group. Animals in group 2 were administered 0.2 ml normal saline, those in group 3 were administered Chloroquine diphosphate at 5 mg/kg body weight; those in groups 4, 5 and 6 were administered 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg of the ethanolic leaf extract respectively. All treatments were orally done once per day for five consecutive days from when parasites were first seen in the infected animal blood. Parasitemia Count and PCV were done using standard methods.
Results: C. papaya extract exhibited antimalarial properties especially at 200 and 400 mg/kg and the results were not different from that of chloroquine.
Conclusion: The result of this present study confirmed that ethanolic leaf extract of C. papaya which displayed good activities against P. berghei are suitable for their traditional use in the treatment of malaria fever.
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