Main content area

Effects of Artesunate on some biochemical parameters in pregnant albino Wistar rats challenged with lethal strain Plasmodium berghei NK65: Appreciating the activities of artemisinin drugs on key pregnancy hormone balance

Nwaehujor, Chinaka O., Asuzu, Onyeka V., Nwibo, Daniel D., Nwobi, Obichukwu C., Ezeigbo, Ihechiluru I.
Experimental and toxicologic pathology 2017 v.69 no.6 pp. 408-411
Plasmodium berghei, albino, animal models, artemisinin, blood, body weight, drugs, hormones, malaria, morbidity, mortality, oral administration, parasites, pregnancy, rats
In humans, malaria in pregnancy can cause serious maternal and foetal morbidity and in extreme untreated cases, foetal mortality occurs. The therapeutic approach to curbing this malaise is the administration of an effective and/or combinations of anti-malaria medicaments. Acute or chronic administration of some of these drugs, however, gives rise to some adverse medical conditions including reproductive dysfunction, especially in pregnancy. Studies aimed at the hormonal interplays following administration of these drugs in pregnancy have been limited due to too few appropriate animal models. In this experiment, pregnant albino rats were infected with rodent parasite, Plasmodium berghei on the 5th day of gestation, following which biochemical changes, specific for pregnancy maintenance were monitored in the blood of test rats. We observed that infecting the pregnant rats with P. berghei negatively impacted the measured biological parameters (hormones) compared to unchallenged controls. The observed effect was however retreated following oral administration of 3mg/kg body weight, qDay of Artesunate until the 17th day of gestation. Findings, therefore, suggest that Artesunate is an effective therapeutic agent in pregnancy, demonstrated by the restoration of the hormonal changes occasioned by the parasitic infection.