Toxicity and efficacy of aqueous crude extracts from Allium sativum, Callistemon citrinus and Moringa stenopetala against L. major


  • Geoffrey Kariuki Kinuthia Daystar University



M. stenopetala, C. citrinus, A. sativum, efficacy, toxicity, aqueous extracts, Leishmania major, vero cells


Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) treatment involves pentavalent antimonials, amphotericin B, pentamidine, miltefosine among others. These drugs are toxic, costly, and require prolonged use. CL is a protozoan skin infection which may lead to disfiguring and stigmatization. In Kenya, CL is common in Baringo County where it is caused by Leishmania major and transmitted by infected female phlebotomine sand fly. Leishmaniases are common in poverty stricken areas where victims opt for local herbal therapies. Herbs used haven’t been tested scientifically to verify their toxicity and efficacy. The current study determines in vitro toxicity and in vivo efficacy of aqueous crude extracts of Moringa stenopetalaCallistemon citrinus, and Allium sativum against L. major. The IC50 of aqueous extracts against promastigotes ranged from 297µg/ml to 575µg/ml compared to Pentostam and liposomal amphotericin B with IC50 of 0.26µg/ml and 0.82µg/ml respectively. The viability of promastigotes upon exposure to extracts ranged from 52.55% to 60.57%. Similarly the IC50 of extracts against vero cells ranged between  467µg/ml to 2105µg/ml compared to 108µg/ml and 60µg/ml for pentostam and liposomal amphotericin B respectively. Orally administered A. sativum reduced L. major caused footpad lesions significantly (P < 0.05) when compared to control PBS. The efficacy of oral C. citrinus extracts (B) in reducing amastigotes in spleens of infected BALB/c mice was 82.99%, followed by oral M. stenopetala (A) at 66.96% and oral A. sativum (C) at 60.37% compared to pentostam and liposomal amphotericin B at 66.40% and 60.62% respectively. The difference between the mean total LDUs for aqueous oral C. citrinus extracts and control oral PBS was significant (P = 0.017). It was concluded that crude aqueous extracts of A. sativumM. stenopetala, and C. citrinus show antileishmanial activity at low toxicity.  Inclusion of garlic and moringa in the diets of people in leishmaniases foci should be emphasized.


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Author Biography

Geoffrey Kariuki Kinuthia, Daystar University

Department of Science & Engineering


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How to Cite

Kinuthia, G. K. (2015). Toxicity and efficacy of aqueous crude extracts from Allium sativum, Callistemon citrinus and Moringa stenopetala against L. major. Kabarak Journal of Research & Innovation, 3(1), 9–20.

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