PROJECT TITLE:  Screening, isolation and quantification of antifungal principles from some traditional herbal medicines in Kenya 

Background

The use of plant  ingredients in traditional medicine in human infections including fungus has been known for ages. Several medicinal plants  in  Kenya have been investigated for their components with some or their isolated compounds exhibiting bioactivity. The plants targeted in this study have been used traditionally  to treat mouth and skin fungal infections.  The plants or their parts are are used either individually or in combination and in varied dosage forms. 

The study aims to screen these  plants for bioactivity  and  assess their safety to perhaps give a scientific basis to their traditional use. Proven safety  will be useful in continued use and may be formulation of the plant extracts. Herbal preparations are usually affordable to patients and this is desirable in resource poor countries like Kenya. To add value to use of herbal medicine , standardisation of the extracts is of importance with regard to dose determination and controlling of any toxicities. Such formulations may be used alone or as complementary to the conventional drugs.

Some of the plants, in addition to being useful in managing fungal infections, are on the verge of  extinction due to pressure on land for agricultural use.  The study may lead to conservation of these beneficial species.  

OBJECTIVES

·         To screen for the in vitro antifungal activity against principal medical fungi in  targeted plant extracts

·         To isolate and ,where possible , characterise the bioactive components of the plant extracts.

·         To develop a  simple, rapid, accurate , precise and sensitive physicochemical method, preferably HPLC, for the quantification of the bioactive components of the plant extracts with a view to standardization of the extracts.

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IFS RESEARCH PROJECT, Project done under University of Nairobi, Site Hosted by ICTC,UoN