Trypanosomosis and helminthosis, considered as part of neglected tropical diseases, are parasitic infections of public health importance, especially in Africa. Medicinal plants have been used in most parts of Africa, to treat these parasitic infections. The study aims to determine the anti-trypanosomal and anthelminthic properties of Tetrapleura tetraptera (fruit and stembark). The aqueous extracts of T. tetraptera fruit (TTFaq) and stembark (TTSaq), as well as ethanol extracts of T. tetraptera fruit (TTFe) and stembark (TTSe), were screened for their in vitro anti-trypanosomal and anthelminthic activities against T. b. brucei and Pheretima posthuma worms, respectively. Preliminary phytochemical screening of all extracts and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of most active extracts were conducted. TTFaq exhibited anti-trypanosomal activity with IC of 18.18 μg/mL. TTSe and TTFe had moderate anti-trypanosomal activity with IC of 34.76 and 34.84 μg/mL, respectively. TTSaq had relatively low activity against the parasite with IC of 55.03 μg/mL. The SI of T. tetraptera extracts was between the range of 0.14-2.09. TTFaq showed dose-dependent activity causing paralysis and death of the adult worms at all concentrations. At the least concentration of 0.625 mg/mL, TTFaq induced paralysis and death after 101.88 ± 0.8 and 242.64 ± 0.38 min of exposure, respectively compared with the negative control (p < 0.0001). TTFe, TTSe and TTSaq caused paralysis of worms after 318.32 ± 0.74, 422.5 ± 0.72, 422.20 ± 0.55 min of exposure at minimum concentrations of 2.5, 10 and 5 mg/mL, respectively (p < 0.0001). However, no death was observed in worms treated with TTFe, TTSe and TTSaq at all test concentrations. In the presence of sub-minimal inhibitory concentration of the extracts, TTFaq potentiated the anthelminthic activity of albendazole whiles TTFe, TTSaq and TTSe inhibited the activity of albendazole. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of saponins, triterpenoids, reducing sugars, flavonoids (absent in TTFe), steroids (absent in TTFaq) and tannins (absent in TTSe and TTFe) in the extracts. GC-MS revealed the presence of 9-octadecenamide and betulic acid in TTFaq. Hence, there was evidence provided here that Tetrapleura tetraptera may be effective. This gives credence to their folkloric use. However, further study might be necessary to ascertain safety use in both humans and animals.
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