Ethnobotanical information from Nigeria specifies the usage of Dioscorea bulbifera L. (Dioscoreaceae) in treatment of parasitic diseases in human and thus, could be of value in preventing the development of resistance to common synthetic anthelmintics. The present study was designed to evaluate the in vitro anthelmintic activity of methanolic extracts of the flesh and peel of the bulbils of D. bulbifera, on Fasciola gigantica and Pheritima posthuma at concentrations ranging from 10 to 100 mg/ml. Albendazole and normal saline were included in the assay as standard reference drug and control, respectively. Thin layer chromatography was used to screen the methanol extracts of the flesh and peel of the bulbils of D. bulbifera for important secondary metabolites in comparison with gallic acid and quercetin. The median lethal concentration values of the flesh and peel extracts of D. bulbifera were 39.67 and 30.40 mg/ml for earthworm and 61.73 and 41.79 mg/ml for liverfluke, respectively. The peel was more potent at 100 mg/ml, causing paralysis in 5.6 ± 0.51 min and death in 10 ± 0.45 min in earthworm. The findings from this study show that D. bulbifera possess in vitro anthelmintic compound worthy of further evaluation.
Key words: Albendazole, anthelmintic, Dioscorea bulbifera, Fasciola gigantica, Pheritima posthuma.
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