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Open Access Research article

In vitro Anti-Toxoplasma gondii Activity of Root Extract/Fractions of Eurycoma longifolia Jack

Nowroji Kavitha1, Rahmah Noordin1, Kit-Lam Chan2 and Sreenivasan Sasidharan1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

2 School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, USM 11800, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:91  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-91

Published: 10 July 2012

Abstract

Background

Toxoplasma gondii infection causes toxoplasmosis, an infectious disease with worldwide prevalence. The limited efficiency of drugs against this infection, their side effects and the potential appearance of resistant strains make the search of novel drugs an essential need. We examined Eurycoma longifolia root extract and fractions as potential sources of new compounds with high activity and low toxicity. The main goal of this study was to investigate the anti-T. gondii activity of crude extract (TACME) and four fractions (TAF 273, TAF 355, TAF 191 and TAF 401) from E. longifolia, with clindamycin as the positive control.

Methods

In vitro toxoplasmacidal evaluation was performed using Vero cells as host for T. gondii. Light microscopy technique was used to study in situ antiparasitic activity.

Results

Significant anti-T. gondii activity was observed with clindamycin (EC50 = 0.016 μg/ml), follow by TAF 355 (EC50 = 0.369 μg/ml) and TAF 401 (EC50 = 0.882 μg/ml). Light microscopy revealed that most Vero cells were infected after 3 h of exposure to T. gondii. After 36 h of exposure to the E. longifolia fraction, the host Vero cells showed no visible intracellular parasite and no remarkable morphological changes.

Conclusions

Our study demonstrated that TAF 355 and TAF401 fractions may be the sources of new anti-T. gondii compounds.

Keywords:
Toxoplasma gondii; Eurycoma longifolia; Antiparasite; Toxoplasmosis; Toxoplamacidal activity