Typhoid fever is a disease prevalent in the tropics. In spite of the availability of various therapies, treatment of patients with the disease has been quite challenging in the face of resistance to drugs used. Momordica charantia has been used locally to treat typhoid. This study investigated the antimicrobial potency of methanolic extract of M. charantia leaves on Salmonella typhi in male albino rats (Sprague dawley) and the effects of treatment on liver function. There were 5 groups of 10 rats each. 1 ml aliquot of the 4th dilution of S. typhi was administered orally to rats in four of the groups to be infected with typhoid, while the last group served as the control. Infected groups were thereafter treated with 100 and 200mg/kg of M. charantia and 10mg/kg of chloramphenicol, respectively for seven days, while the remaining group was not treated after infection. The effect of treatment on infection level, body weight and liver enzymes were thereafter investigated. Marked reduction in infection level was observed in all treated rats. Rats treated with 200 mg/kg of the plant extract had total clearance by the sixth day, while significantly lower (p < 0.05) infection level was recorded in rats treated with the plant extract than those treated with the standard drug. Mean body weight of all treated rat groups increased during treatment. Concentrations of total and direct bilirubin, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) were higher (p < 0.05) in untreated rats than the treated rats. In conclusion, these results suggest that leaf extract of M. charantia is a potent antimicrobial drug against S. typhi with hepatoameliorative potentials.
Key words: Typhoid, Momordica charantia, liver, Salmonella typhi.
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