Background: Malaria is the largest cause of death and disability globally and antimalarial drug resistances are a major public health problem, which hinders the control of malaria. Traditionally used medicinal plants have played important role in the treatment of malaria. In this study, the leaves of Phytolacca dodecandra, used in indigenous medicine to treat malaria in Ethiopia was evaluated for an in vivo antimalarial activity against chloroquine sensitive Plasmodium berghei. The objective of the study was to evaluate the antimalarial activity of methanolic leaf extract of P. dodecandra against Plasmodium berghei infected mice. Materials and Methods: A total of 25 mice were randomly assigned into five groups with five mice per group. Three groups received the extracts at 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight respectively. The other two groups (negative and positive control) were treated with 1 ml/100 g body weight of Tween 80 and chloroquine at dose of 10 mg/kg respec-tively. Antimalarial activity was evaluated on day 4. Statistical analysis was done with ANOVA. Results: The plant was nontoxic to mice and showed significantly improved suppression of parasitemia, prevented packed cell volume reduction (p < 0.05) dose dependently and increased the survival time of infected mice when com-pared to the negative control. Conclusion: The leaves of Phytolacca dodecandra demonstrated antimalarial activity in mice.
Key words: Antimalarial activity, Phytolacca dodecandra, in vivo, Plasmodium berghei.