Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3657

Full Length Research Paper

In vitro antileishmanial activity of extracts of Warburgia ugandensis (Canellaceae), a Kenyan medicinal plant

Peter Kamau Ngure1*, Willy Kiprotich Tonui2, Johnstone Ingonga2, Charles Mutai2, Elizabeth Kigondu2, Zipporah Ng’ang’a3,Geoffrey Rukunga2 and Albert Kimutai2
1Daystar University, Science department, P.O. Box 44400, 00100, Nairobi, Kenya. 2Kenya Medical Research Institute. Nairobi, Kenya. 3Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  • Article Number - 4543A4F14703
  • Vol.3(2), pp. 061-066, February 2009
  •  Accepted: 12 January 2009
  •  Published: 28 February 2009


The antileishmanial activity of extracts of Warburgia ugandensis (family Canellaceae), a known traditional therapy and one of the commonly used medicinal plants in Kenya was evaluated. Extracts of this plant were tested for possible antileishmanial activity in vitro. Different doses of hexane, dichloro-methane, ethyl acetate and methanol extracts of W. ugandensis were tested against Leishmania major and Leishmania donovani promastigotes and amastigotes. The hexane extract had the best activity against L. major promas-tigotes and amastigotes with IC50 value of 9.95 for promastigotes and 8.65 for amastigotes and minimum inhibition concentrations of 62.5 µg/ml. The activity of the hexane extract on amastigotes was comparable (P > 0.05) to that of pentostam and amphotericin B. Similar results were obtained for L. donovani withIC50 values of 8.67 for promastigotes and 100-fold reduction of amastigotes in macrophage cultures. Warburgia ugandensis had lower levels of toxicities compared to pentostam and amphotericin B. This study scientifically demon-strates the potential of W. ugandensis in the treatment of leishmaniasis.


Key words: Warburgia ugandensis, leishmaniasis, promastigote, amastigote.

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