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Anthony Fidelis Uwah*, Blessing Obinaju Effiong, Jackson Sunday Obot, Ekoriko Udoh Henry and Ezekiel Udoh Umoh


Management of infection by Plasmodium species continues to pose a huge challenge both to sufferer and all levels of health care providers, partly due to parasites resistance to available drugs, scanty knowledge of the pathogenesis of the disease and co-infective states. Hence, diverse combination therapies and concomitant usage of antimalarial agents with other pharmacologic agents have become the major treatment modalities in most countries. Information on the safety profile of these treatments are either scarce or non-existent. Our study assessed the cardiovascular and hepatic functions of Plasmodium berghei infected mice treated with artemether-lumefantrine (ACT) and Eremomastax speciosa crude leaf extract. Forty-five adult albino mice were divided into five groups of six mice in each. The mice were inoculated with P. berghei. After establishing parasitaemia, separate groups were treated with artemether-lumefantrine, plant extract and ACT plus extract. Non-parasitized and parasitized untreated groups were maintained as controls. Serum lipid profile, liver enzymes, proteins and bilirubin were determined using standard methods. Result of lipid profile showed significant (P<0.05) increases in TG, total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL and VLDL in parasitized untreated mice, which was significantly (P<0.05) lowered by the ACT-extract combination to levels within normal ranges. Similar results were obtained for serum liver enzymes. Serum proteins were significantly (P<0.05) lowered in parasitized untreated mice, but significantly (P<0.05) raised to near normal levels in treated mice. We concluded the ACT-extract combination therapy did not show toxicity on the cardiovascular and hepatic functions. The data rather suggested that the combination therapy had some cardioprotectve, vasculoprotective and hepatoprotective potentials against Plasmodium-induced derangement in the cardiac and hepatic functions. The combination therapy was therefore safe, and may be an efficacious, affordable and readily available management modality for malaria infection.

Keywords: Eremomastax speciosa, ACT-herb combination, malaria, artemether-lumefantrine.

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