African Journal of
Pure and Applied Chemistry

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pure Appl. Chem.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0840
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPAC
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 368

Full Length Research Paper

Isolation and characterisation of chemical compounds from the plants, Phytolacca octandra (L.), Phytolacca dodecandra (L'Herit) and Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) commonly used to control schistosomiasis transmitting snails in Kenya

Kariuki S. T.
  • Kariuki S. T.
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Egerton University, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Kariuki J. M.
  • Kariuki J. M.
  • Department of Environmental Studies and Resources Development, Chuka University, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Mailu B. M.
  • Mailu B. M.
  • Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Egerton University, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Muchiri D. R.
  • Muchiri D. R.
  • Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Egerton University, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 17 January 2018
  •  Accepted: 15 May 2018
  •  Published: 30 June 2018


Schistosomiasis is a widespread parasitic infection globally but more so in sub-Saharan Africa which accounts for about 90% of those seeking treatment globally. Fresh water aquatic snails are intermediate hosts of parasites causing the disease. Niclosamide was approved by the World Health Organization to be the main molluscicide used in the control of the snails. However, many plant species could be used as alternative molluscicides as they are environmentally friendly. This study aimed to isolate and characterize the chemicals responsible for the molluscicidal activity in the plants, Phytolacca octandra, Phytolocca dodecandra and Balanites aegyptiaca. Parts of the whole plant (berries, leaves, stems and roots) were collected, air dried to constant weight, macerated to a fine powder and extracted separately using methanol in soxhlet apparatus. After extraction, the crude extracts were isolated and purified. The melting points of the isolated compounds were determined and testing was done for alkaloids, triterpenoids, glycosides and saponins. The tests were positive for triterpenoids, glycosides and saponins but negative for alkaloids.
Key words: Schistosomiasis, molluscicide, Phytolacca octandra, Phytolocca dodecandra, Balanites aegyptiaca.