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Effect of Peganum harmala (wild rue) extract on experimental ovine malignant theileriosis : pathological and parasitological findings

A. Derakhshanfar, M. Mirzaei

Onderstepoort J Vet Res; Vol 75, No 1 (2008), 67-72. doi: 10.4102/ojvr.v75i1.90

Submitted: 10 September 2008
Published:  10 September 2008


Malignant theileriosis of sheep is a highly fatal, acute or subacute disease is caused by the tick-borne protozoan parasite, Theileria hirci. In this investigation ten healthy male lambs aged 5-6 months were randomly divided into two groups, A and B and were kept in isolated tick-proof pens. They were treated for internal and external parasite before commencement of the experiment. The lambs were experimentally infected with T. hirci by placing ticks Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum infected with T. hirci on them. The ticks used in this survey had originally been isolated from sheep and colonies of them were established in an insectarium. Before and after infection rectal temperatures and clinical signs of the lambs were recorded, blood and prescapular lymph node smears were prepared and examined to determine the extent of the parasitaemia, and blood samples were analyzed to evaluate their haemoglobin (Hb) and packed cell volume (PCV) rates. Three days after the commencement of a febrile reaction and appearance of the schizonts in the lymph node smears, treatment of the lambs in Group A with an extract containing the alkaloids of Peganum harmala (wild rue) was commenced. Group B lambs were kept untreated controls. Before treatment there were no significant differences in the rectal temperature, parasitaemia rate, and the Hb and PCV values between animals in the two groups but after treatment significant differences in these values was detected (P < 0.05). After treatment, the clinical signs and parasites in the lymph node smears of the animals in Group A disappeared and they all animals recovered. These parameters in the animals of Group B progressed until their death. Pathological studies showed the characteristic lesions of theileriosis in lambs in Group B, but not in Group A. The results indicate a therapeutic effect of the alkaloids of P. harmala for treatment of ovine malignant theileriosis.

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A. Derakhshanfar,
M. Mirzaei,


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