Antimalarial plant remedies from Burkina Faso: their potential for prophylactic use.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Saye, a combination remedy prepared from Cochlospermum planchonii Hook.f. (Cochlospermaceae), Cassia alata L. (Fabaceae) and Phyllanthus amarus Schumach. et Thonn. (Euphorbiaceae), N'Dribala, a Cochlospermum planchonii root decoction, and a fruit preparation of Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (Meliaceae) are plant remedies of the folk medicine in Burkina Faso and are commonly used by traditional healers for the treatment of malaria. Aim of the study: This study aimed at validating the antiplasmodial activity of the preparations and at estimating their potential for prophylaxis, using the murine malaria system Plasmodium berghei/Anopheles stephensi. Materials and methods: Aqueous extracts were orally administered to mice (6 animals per treatment group) at a daily dose of 200 mg/kg body weight for nine days, applying protocols that mimic as much as possible traditional recipes and treatment schemes. Results: Saye, N'Dribala and Azadirachta indica preparations revealed prophylactic activity, reducing parasitaemia in treated mice, with respect to controls, by 52.0% (CI95 46.1-57.9), 45.5% (CI95 44.5-46.5) and 45.0% (CI95 41.1-48.9), respectively. No evidence of transmission blocking effects was detected with any of the tested remedies. Conclusions: This study confirms, in the murine malaria system, the antiplasmodial properties of the examined remedies on the Plasmodium stages developing in the vertebrate host, thus encouraging studies aiming at identifying the active fractions and compounds responsible for the described activity and to develop standardized prophylactic remedies.