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1.  Anti-malarial activity of a polyherbal product (Nefang) during early and established Plasmodium infection in rodent models 
Malaria Journal  2014;13(1):456.
The emerging resistance of Plasmodium species to currently available anti-malarials remains a public health concern, hence the need for new effective, safe and affordable drugs. Natural products remain a reliable source of drugs. Nefang is a polyherbal anti-malarial of the Cameroonian folklore medicine with demonstrated in vitro antiplasmodial and antioxidant activities. It is composed of Mangifera indica (bark and leaf), Psidium guajava, Carica papaya, Cymbopogon citratus, Citrus sinensis, Ocimum gratissimum (leaves). This study aimed at investigating the suppressive, prophylactic and curative activities of Nefang in Plasmodium infected rodent models.
Systemic acute oral toxicity of Nefang aqueous and ethanol extracts was assessed in mice up to a dose of 5,000 mgkg−1 body weight. BALB/c mice and Wistar rats were inoculated with Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi and Plasmodium berghei, respectively, and treated with Nefang, the Mangifera indica bark/Psidium guajava combination and a Psidium guajava leaf aqueous extracts (75, 150, 300 and 600 mgkg−1 bwt). Their schizonticidal activity was then evaluated using the Peter’s 4-day suppressive test). The prophylactic and curative (Rane’s Test) activity of Nefang was also evaluated by determining the parasitaemia, survival time, body weight and temperature in pre-treated rodents.
Acute oral toxicity of the extract did not cause any observed adverse effects. Percent suppressions of parasitaemia at 600 mgkg−1 bwt were as follows (P. berghei/P. chabaudi): Nefang – 82.9/86.3, Mangifera indica bark/Psidium guajava leaf combination extract – 79.5/81.2 and Psidium guajava leaf – 58.9/67.4. Nefang exhibited a prophylactic activity of 79.5% and its chemotherapeutic effects ranged from 61.2 – 86.1% with maximum effect observed at the highest experimental dose.
These results indicate that Nefang has excellent in vivo anti-malarial activities against P. berghei and P. chabaudi, upholding earlier in vitro antiplasmodial activities against multi-drug resistant P. falciparum parasites as well as its traditional use. Hence, Nefang represents a promising source of new anti-malarial agents.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1475-2875-13-456) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4251988  PMID: 25421605
Medicinal Plants; Nefang; Acute toxicity; Malaria; In vivo antiplasmodial activity; Suppressive activity; Prophylactic activity; Curative activity; Combination phytotherapy
2.  In Vitro Antiplasmodial Activities and Synergistic Combinations of Differential Solvent Extracts of the Polyherbal Product, Nefang 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:835013.
Nefang, a polyherbal product composed of Mangifera indica (bark and leaf), Psidium guajava, Carica papaya, Cymbopogon citratus, Citrus sinensis, and Ocimum gratissimum (leaves), is a potential therapy against P. falciparum malaria. In vitro antiplasmodial activities of its constituent solvent extracts were analyzed on CQ-sensitive (3D7) and multidrug resistant (Dd2) P. falciparum strains. The interactions involving the differential solvent extracts were further analyzed using a variable potency ratio drug combination approach. Effective concentration 50 (EC50) values were determined by nonlinear regression curve-fitting of the dose-response data and used in calculating the fractional inhibitory concentration 50 (FIC50) and combination indices (CI) for each pair. The derived EC50 values (3D7/Dd2, μg/mL) are Nefang-96.96/55.08, MiB-65.33/34.58, MiL-82.56/40.04, Pg-47.02/25.79, Cp-1188/317.5, Cc-723.3/141, Cs-184.4/105.1, and Og-778.5/118.9. Synergism was obtained with MiB/Pg (CI = 0.351), MiL/Pg (0.358), MiB/Cs (0.366), MiL/Cs (0.482), Pg/Cs (0.483), and Cs/Og (0.414) when analyzed at equipotency ratios. Cytotoxicity testing of Nefang and the solvent extracts on two human cell lines (Hep G2 and U2OS) revealed no significant toxicity relative to their antiplasmodial activities (SI > 20). Taken together, our data confirm the antimalarial activities of Nefang and its constituent plant extracts and identified extract pairs with promising synergistic interactions for exploitation towards a rational phytotherapeutic and evidence-based antimalarial drug discovery.
PMCID: PMC4022163  PMID: 24877138
3.  Antioxidant Potential of a Polyherbal Antimalarial as an Indicator of Its Therapeutic Value 
Nefang is a polyherbal product composed of Mangifera indica (bark and leaf), Psidium guajava, Carica papaya, Cymbopogon citratus, Citrus sinensis, and Ocimum gratissimum (leaves), used for the treatment of malaria. Compounds with antioxidant activity are believed to modulate plasmodial infection. Antioxidant activity of the constituent aqueous plants extracts, in vitro, was evaluated using the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), total phenolic content (TPC), and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) methods and, in vivo, Nefang (100 and 500 mg kg−1) activity was evaluated in carbon tetrachloride-induced oxidative stressed Wistar rats. Superoxide dismutase, catalase activities, and lipid peroxidation by the malondialdehyde and total proteins assays were carried out. P. guajava, M. indica leaf, and bark extracts had the highest antioxidant properties in all three assays, with no statistically significant difference. Rats treated with the carbon tetrachloride had a statistically significant decrease in levels of triglycerides, superoxide dismutase, and catalase (P < 0.05) and increase in malondialdehyde activity, total protein levels, and liver and renal function markers, whereas rats treated with Nefang showed increased levels in the former and dose-dependent decrease towards normal levels in the later. These results reveal the constituent plants of Nefang that contribute to its in vivo antioxidant potential. This activity is a good indication of the therapeutic potential of Nefang.
PMCID: PMC3880729  PMID: 24454347
4.  Analysis of pan-African Centres of excellence in health innovation highlights opportunities and challenges for local innovation and financing in the continent 
A pool of 38 pan-African Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in health innovation has been selected and recognized by the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDI), through a competitive criteria based process. The process identified a number of opportunities and challenges for health R&D and innovation in the continent: i) it provides a direct evidence for the existence of innovation capability that can be leveraged to fill specific gaps in the continent; ii) it revealed a research and financing pattern that is largely fragmented and uncoordinated, and iii) it highlights the most frequent funders of health research in the continent. The CoEs are envisioned as an innovative network of public and private institutions with a critical mass of expertise and resources to support projects and a variety of activities for capacity building and scientific exchange, including hosting fellows, trainees, scientists on sabbaticals and exchange with other African and non-African institutions.
PMCID: PMC3492037  PMID: 22838941

Results 1-4 (4)