Background: The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of dietary combination of Nigella sativa seed and oil extracts with chloroquine (CQ), and how these combinations enhance CQ efficacy in mice infected with Plasmodium berghei and their survival rates.
Materials and methods: Chloroquine sensitive P. berghei, NK65 strain was used for the study. This was passaged intraperitoneally into albino mice with a 0.2ml standard inoculum consisting of 10(6) parasitized erythrocyte suspension in phosphate buffer solution (PBS). Parasitaemia was ascertained by microscopical examination of blood films under oil immersion at X100 magnification.
Results: Nigella sativa seed in feed (NSSF), NSSF + CQ on day 4, produced 86.1% and 86.0% suppression respectively, while Nigella sativa oil extract in feed (NSOF) and in combination with CQ had 86.0% and 99.9% suppression respectively. The degree of suppression with the combination was significantly higher compared to CQ alone (P < 0.001) (36.1%). Complete parasitaemia clearance was obtained on the 20(th) and 15(th) day of treatment for NSSF, NSSF + CQ respectively, while that for NSOF and NSOF + CQ was on days 26 and 12 respectively. For CQ parasite clearance was 12 days with treatment. Also, the combinastion of 10 mg/kg Nigella sativa oil treatment injected intraperitoneally with oral CQ produced very significant parasite suppression (P < 0.0001) (93%). Survival rate in NSSF and NSOF and in combination with CQ groups was 100 and 60.0% for CQ alone.
Conclusions: This study shows that the use of Nigella sativa seed and oil extract as dietary supplements in combination with CQ has a potential in enhancing the efficacy of CQ and could be of benefit in management of malaria.
Keywords: Chloroquine; nigella sativa; parasitaemia; plasmodium berghei; suppression.