Treatment of theileriosis with chemotherapeutic drugs is very expensive and these drugs are not usually available in developing countries. Thus, searching for discovering medicinal plants for treatment of the disease is the aim of this study. This study investigated in vitroactivity of Gardenia ternifolia fruits aqueous extract against Theileria lestoquardi. Lymphocyte cells infected with T. lestoquardi were isolated from heparinized blood with Ficoll-paque. These cells were grown in minimum essential medium and sub cultured continuously till passage 8, which was used for the test. Screening of the plant extract using 6-wells plate was carried out. The parasite was identified by indirect fluorescent antibody test. The results of the present study showed that the in vitro activity of the plant extract against T. lestoquardi macroschizonts at 250 ppm concentration was 0%, significantly (P < 0.05) increased at 500, 5000 and 10000 ppm being 13, 40 and 60%, respectively. Lethal dose, 50% and 99% (LC50 and LC99) were 6745.28 and 177010.90 ppm, respectively. The extract significantly (P < 0.05) decreased the number of macroschizonts per cell, mean number of dividing cells and mean number of viable cells at 500, 5000 and 10000 ppm. However, the mean number of cells with extra cellular macroschizonts significantly (P < 0.05) increased. Some lymphoblast cells with vacuolated cytoplasm were microscopically observed at the highest concentration. It is concluded that the plant extract has high activity against T. lestoquardi. Further in vivo studies are recommended to reveal the effect of the plant extract for treatment of malignant ovine theileriosis.
Key words: In vitro activity, Theileria lestoquardi, Gardenia ternifolia, aqueous extract.
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