Most plants known to man are believed to possess some therapeutic characteristics and medicinal value. Medicinal plants are the backbone of traditional medicine (Fransworth, 1994). Traditional medical practice has been known for centuries, in many parts of the world (Parekh and Chands, 2007). It has, however, been observed that these practices vary from one country to another (Igwo-Ezikpe, 2013). Vernonia amygdalina belongs to the family Compositae; the family is the largest family of the flowering plants comprising 950 genera and about 23,000 species. The family is of cosmopolitan distributions covering almost all habitats. Vernonia amygdalina is a valuable medicinal plant that is widespread in West Africa, In Nigeria, it is known variously as “Ewuro” in Yoruba language, “Onugbu” in Igbo language, “Oriwo” in Bini language, “Ityuna” in Tiv, “Chusar doki or fatefate” in Hausa, while it is known as “Etidot” in Cross River State of Nigeria (Ebenezer and Olatunde, 2011). it is known as bitter leaf due to its characteristic bitter taste and flavour. The bitter taste is due to anti-nutritional factors such as alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and glycosides (Bonsi et al., 1995). The organic fraction extracts of the plant was shown to possess cytotoxic effects towards human carcinoma cells of the nasopharynx (Seef et al., 2001). It is effective against amoebic dysentery (Moundipa et al., 2000), gastrointestinal disorders, and has antimicrobial and antiparasitic activities (Akinpelu, 1999, Hladik et al., 20005). This plant contains complex active components that are useful pharmacologically (Udochukwu, et al., 2015). Many West African countries like Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria use the stem and root as chewing sticks (Burkill, 1985). It is also documented that V. amygdalina has been used traditionally in blood clothing. The biologically-active compounds of Vernonia amygdalina are saponins and alkaloids (Muraina et al., 2010), terpenes, steroids, coumarins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, xanthones and anthraquinone (Cimanga et al., 2004), edotides and sesquiterpenes (Izevbigie, 2003).In the wild, chimpanzees have been observed to ingest the leaves when suffering from parasitic infections (Huffman, 2001; Huffman, 2003). Many herbalists and native doctors in Africa recommend its aqueous extracts for their patients as treatment for varieties of ailments ranging from emesis, nausea, diabetes, loss of appetite, dysentery and other gastrointestinal tract problems to sexually transmitted diseases and diabetes mellitus among others (Argheore, 1998).
Urinary tract infection is one of the commonest infections to affect humans. Uncomplicated infections occur most commonly in otherwise healthy women when uropathogenic bacteria ascend from the perineum into the bladder and overcome host innate immunity.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a cause of significant discomfort, acute and long-term morbidity, and loss of productivity, resulting in over 7 million office visits with an estimated 1 million episodes annually of UTI-related illness requiring hospitalizations. 1 Among children, I in 20 girls and 1 in 50 boys have a UTI each year (Bailey, 2003). Women are more likely to develop UTIs than men, due to anatomical differences; the urethra is shorter in women than in men, and it is closer to the anus, making it more likely that bacteria are transferred to the bladder.
Over 50 percent of all women will experience at least one UTI during their lifetime, with 20-30 percent experiencing recurrent UTIs. Pregnant women are not more likely to develop a UTI than other women, but if one does occur, it is more likely to travel up to the kidneys; this is because of anatomical changes during pregnancy that affect the urinary tract. As a UTI in pregnancy can prove dangerous for both maternal and infant health, most pregnant women are tested for the presence of bacteria in their urine, even if there are no symptoms, and treated with to prevent spread.
Most UTIs are not serious, but some can lead to serious problems, particularly with upper urinary tract infections. Recurrent or long-lasting kidney infections (chronic) can cause permanent damage, and some sudden kidney infections (acute) can be life-threatening, particularly if septicemia (bacteria entering the bloodstream) occurs (McIntosh, 2017). One of the common organisms that cause urinary tract infections is Proteus mirabilis which is a gram negative bacterium. Urinary tract infections caused by Proteus mirabilis also occur commonly in sexually active women and men, especially those engaging in unprotected intercourse. Younger women are at greater risk than younger men; however, older men are at greater risk than older women due to the occurrence of prostate disease.
- mirabilis is capable of causing symptomatic infections of the urinary tract including cystitis and pyelonephritis and is present in cases of asymptomatic bacteriuria, particularly in the elderly and patients with type 2 diabetes (Papazafiropoulou et al., 2010; Mathews and Lancaster, 2011). These infections can also cause bacteremia and progress to potentially life-threatening urosepsis. Additionally, P. mirabilis infections can cause the formation of urinary stones (urolithiasis).
- mirabilis is often isolated from the gastrointestinal tract, although whether it is a commensal, a pathogen, or a transient organism, is somewhat controversial (Janda and Abbott, 2006). It is thought that the majority of P. mirabilis urinary tract infections (UTI) result from ascension of bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract while others are due to person-to-person transmission, particularly in healthcare settings (O’Hara et al., 2000). This is supported by evidence that some patients with P. mirabilis UTI have the same strain of P. mirabilis in their stool, while others have no P. mirabilis in their stools (Mathur et al., 2005).
Urinary tract infection is a very common infection among the humans especially among females and it is always neglected because it can occur to even healthy individuals. This infection is mostly caused by uropathogenic bacteria. This infection has been frequently neglected due to the fact that most times, it does not cause much problem except in immunocompromised individuals such as pregnant women where it can cause still birth as a result of the bacterial invasion. Furthermore, due to the recent increase in antibiotic resistance among most bacteria, there has been a need to go back to herbs or plant extracts for the treatment of these bacterial infection. Vernonia amygdalina was chosen because right from the onset of traditional medicine, it was among the herb that its extract has been believed to be of great therapeutic value. It is cheap and easily gotten and could be of great therapeutic value. This project was undertaken therefore with the following aims and objectives.
AIM OF STUDY
To assay the effect of Vernonia amygdalena extract on proteus induced urinary tract infection in adult wistar albino rats.
OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
- To determine the therapeutic effect of Vernonia amygdalina extract on proteus unduced urinary tract infection.
- To determine the concentration at which the extract has the full therapeutic effect if any on Urinary Tract infection on wistar albino rat.