In vitro Anthelmintic Efficacy of Medicinal Plants against Heterakis gallinarum in Village Chickens

  •  Marizvikuru Mwale    
  •  Patrick Masika    


Heterakis gallinarum impedes the productivity of village chickens and hence their socio-economic contribution to rural communties. Smallholder farmers are endowed with vast indigenous knowledge for controlling H. gallinarum and they predominantly use Aloe ferox, Agave sisalana and Gunnera perpensa. However, their anthelminthic efficacy is unknown. Therefore, our objective was to determine the in vitro anthelmintic efficacy of A. ferox, A. sisalana and G. perpensa against H. gallinarum. Heterakis gallinarum worms were recovered from caeca of 20 village chickens. Ten worms were randomly introduced in each of the 42 petri-dishes. Treatments were positive control (distilled water), negative control (mebendazole) and A. ferox, A. sisalana and G. perpensa aqueous extracts at dosage of 7.25, 14.5, 29 and 58 mg/mL. The procedure was done in triplicate. Worm motility and mortality indices were calculated. Among plant, A. sisalana (14.5 mg/mL) had the greatest (80%) worm motility inhibition at 12-h interval (p < 0.05) and the greatest worm mortality index (80%) showing that the plant has anthelmintic properties. Seventy percent of worms were recovered after 48 h following treatment with A. ferox (58 mg/mL). Agave sisalana (14.5 mg/mL) was the most efficient plant in reducing motility and causing mortality of H. gallinarum in vitro. Findings are useful to resource-constrained farmers who use crude extracts, to select the best plant and to pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing anthelmintic drugs.

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