Research Article: Antimalarial activity of Morus alba leaf extract against Plasmodium berghei infection in mice 
Voravuth Somsa, Somrudee Nakinchat

Malaria is one of the most important parasitic diseases in the World. The choice for the treatment is highly limited due to antimalarial drug resistance. The use of medicinal plant in the treatment of malaria is a common practice in many countries where the malaria is mostly endemic. The present study is attempted to investigate the antimalarial activity of  
Morus alba leaf extract against Plasmodium berghei infected mice. In this study, aqueous crude extract of M. alba 
leaves was prepared, and acute toxicity test was also conducted. The standard 4-days test was used to determine  
parasite inhibition. Male ICR mice were randomly grouped into five groups of five mice each. They were then given orally with the extracts (100, 200, and 500 mg/kg) once a day for 4-consecutive day. The untreated and positive controls were given distilled water and chloroquine (10 mg/kg), respectively. The level of parasitemia, packed cell volume, variation in body weight, and survival time of mice were used to determine the antimalarial activity of the extract. It was found that the aqueous crude extract of M. alba leaves significantly (p < 0.05) inhibited parasitemia in a dose-dependent manner, prevented body weight loss, and packed cell volume reduction at doses of 100, 200, and 500 mg/kg. Additionally, the extract prolonged the mean survival time of  P. berghei infected mice, compared to the untreated control. It can be concluded that aqueous crude extract of  M. alba leaves possess acceptable antimalarial activity with non-toxicity. However, further investigation should be pursued on the bioactive compounds responsible for the observed antimalarial action of this plant.

Keywords: medicinal plants, antiprotozoal, pharmacology