Laboratory assessment of the molluscicidal and cercariacidal activities of Balanites aegyptiaca
Authors: Eshetu Molla, Mirutse Giday, Berhanu Erko
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To assess the molluscicidal and cercariacidal activities of aqueous extracts of Balanites aegyptiaca (B. aegyptiaca) against Ethiopian Biomphalaria pfeifferi (B. pfeifferi), Lymnaea natalensis (L. natalensis) and Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) cercariae.
Extracts of seeds, endocarp, mesocarp, and fruit of B. aegyptiaca were tested for their activities against adult B. pfeifferi and L. natalensis. The cercariacidal activity of the seeds of the plant was also evaluated against S. mansoni. Bioassays were carried out following the methods recommended by WHO. Snail mortalities were compared between each plant part and snail species, and LC50 and LC90 values for the plant parts tested were computed. The cercariacidal activity of the plant was assessed by exposing the mice to the cercariae pre-exposed to aqueous extract of B. aegyptiaca seeds.
For the molluscicidal activities of seeds, endocarp, mesocarp and whole fruit, the LC50 values against B. pfeifferi were 56.32, 77.53, 65.51 and 66.63 mg/L, respectively, while the respective LC90 values were 77.70, 120.04, 89.50 and 97.55 mg/L. Similarly, the LC50 values for the seeds, endocarp, mesocarp and whole fruit against L. natalensis were 80.33, 92.61, 83.52 and 87.84 mg/L, respectively, while the respective LC90 values were 102.30, 138.21, 115.42 and 127.69 mg/L. B. pfeifferi were found to be more susceptible to B. aegyptiaca than L. natalensis. S. mansoni cercariae exposed to 15 mg/L of extract of seeds were incapable of infecting mice. The mean egg load of tissue was reduced in mice infected with the cercariae exposed to 5 and 10 mg/L of the extract.
The aqueous extracts of different parts of B. aegyptiaca exhibited reasonable molluscicidal activity against B. pfeifferi and L. natalensis, as well as cercariacidal activity against S. mansoni cercariae. However, comprehensive laboratory evaluation is recommended prior to field tests of the plant parts since their impact on other aquatic biota is not known.