At present, malaria is one of the most important parasitic diseases in the world killing more than one million people annually. It is an important public health problem because many of the drugs that are being prescribed for the treatment of malaria have become ineffective to the disease. This study was therefore carried out to determine the anti-malaria activity of cocoa powder through the use of mouse model. Natural cocoa powder was used to compound mice feed and this was both pre-fed and post-fed to mouse that had been infected with Plasmodium berghei. The results indicated that cocoa powder had both therapeutic and prophylactic effects against P. berghei. The mean percentage plasmodial reduction expressed in mice post-fed with cocoa and those treated with chloroquine were 60.82 ± 8.47% and 60.09 ± 7.84% respectively. This is an indication that both agents exhibited plasmodial reduction almost at equal frequency. Though, percentage plasmodium reduction was more in mice pre-fed with cocoa than those post-fed with cocoa, but the difference was not significant (P > 0.05). The observation of higher percentage of plasmodial reduction in mice pre-fed with cocoa suggested it may possess an immune-booster effect which action is anti-malarial. There was a decline in weight of mice demonstrating that cocoa might contain some weight trimming ingredients.
Key words: Plasmodium berghei, chloroquine, therapeutic immune booster.
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