Urginea sanguinea, Aloe marlothii, Elephantorrhiza elephantina and Rhoicissus tridentate are all plants utilized for the management of tick borne diseases in the Madikwe area of North-west province. These plants, in certain concoctions, are believed to be effective against “seme”, “gala” and “Bolwetsi jwa mothlapo o moshibidu” which we have assumed to represent heartwater, gallsickness and redwater from circumstantial epidemiological data available. To obtain a representative extract, which would be indicative of the general activity of the plant, only acetone or methanol extracts were tested for the presence of antimicrobial, antiparasitic or anti-oxidant activity within that specific plant. Activity in all cases made use of either an in vitro biological assay or more specific chemical tests, which were validated in all cases. Ehrlichia ruminantium, Babesia caballi and Theileria equi, all grown in specific cell cultures, were used as a model for evaluating the efficacy against the common protozoan and rickettsial diseases caused by these organisms in livestock. Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli, four human nosocomial infectious agents, were used as an indicator for the presence of antibacterial activity against these common animal bacterial pathogens. Diphenyl-picrylhydrazyl and the trolox equivalent anti-oxidant chemical assays were used to determine anti-oxidant activity, which although not curative, may aid in the recovery from an infection by stimulating the immune system. The activities demonstrated among the various plants and organisms were not consistent. E. elephantine extracts were the most effective, with activity demonstrable in all biological and chemical screening assays. Although R. tridentate demonstrated poor activity (> 100 ìg/ml) against the tick-borne parasites, the plant extract did demonstrate significant anti-oxidant activity. U. sanguinea extracts showed good activity in both the antibacterial and anti-rickettsial assays (EC50 = 44.49 ng/ml), which may be due to the presence of the toxic bufadienolides present within the plant. A. marlothii possessed significant anti-rickettsial activity (EC50= 111.4 µg/ml) and to a lesser degree antibacterial activity. The results of the study support the use of these plants against heartwater, gallsickness and redwater, which gives credence for the traditional use against “Seme, Gala, and Bolwetsi jwa mothlapo o moshibidu”. Further studies are required to isolate and determine the structure of the active compounds of these plants as well as to confirm the safety and efficacy of the extracts against disease conditions in livestock. Copyright
Dissertation (MSc (Veterinary Science))--University of Pretoria, 2006.