Treatment of African trypanosomosis is becoming difficult due to the increasing wave of treatment failure occasioned by drug resistance of Trypanosoma brucei species. This study was therefore set up to assess the antitrypanosomal potential of extracts from a mushroom with acclaimed wide medicinal properties. Aqueous extracts of Ganoderma applanatum were obtained using hot water extraction method. These were injected into 24 laboratory reared rats comprising 12 rats infected with Trypanosma brucei brucei serving as test, and the other 12 rats uninfected which served as control. The rats were observed for up to two weeks for obvious clinical symptoms. Laboratory tests, mainly microscopy using thick and thin blood films, and haematocrit centrifugation technique (HCT) for parasites and haematological profiles were monitored on daily basis. Data obtained were analysed using simple descriptive methods. All the rats infected with T. brucei brucei died from overwhelming parasitaemia between day 6 and day 12 of observation. Uninfected counterparts who were injected with the Ganodermaextracts remained alive at day 12. Also rats that were uninfected and not injected with G. applanatum extracts remained healthy by day 12. G. applanatum hot water crude extract did not exhibit any antitrypanosomale action on the dose levels used. However, further work on anti-trypanosomal activity of the mushroom at higher doses using other methods of extraction is recommended.
Key words: African trypanosomiasis treatment, extracts, Ganoderma applanatum
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