Undergraduate Research Projects - 2012
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MUTURA KELVIN NGANGA

SAFETY SCREENING OF HERBAL PRODUCTS

SUPERVISOR: PROF. A. N. GUANTAI.

YEAR:  2012

Abstract

Safety screening involves the carrying out of toxicity tests on a medicinal product so as to determine the safety profile  of the product.  In this study, the medicinal product under study was a herbal product C00112, claimed to be a hepatoprotective agent.  There are a number of causes of liver disease such as injections (both viral and parasitic), the use of drugs such as Acetaminophen, Amoxicillin, Amiodarone, Chlorpromazine among others and excessive alcohol consumption.  A hepatoprotective agent would therefore be of importance when it comes to the management of liver disease.  However, since this product is a herbal formulation, issues of safety, effectiveness and quality are bound to arise hence the need for safety screening.

Objective:To determine the Safety profile of the herbal product C00112

Study Design and Methodology: Rats were used as the experimental animals.  They were appropriately treated as control (positive and Negative) or tests.  Blood samples were obtained for assessment of chemistries or biochemical parameters including organ functions.  A set of organs (liver, heart, kidney, lungs and spleen) were harvested and processed for pathological tests.  Changes were documented through photography of he physical changes.

 

ALEX N. MWANGI

ASSESSMENT OF SAFETY OF M001; AN HERBAL MEDICINE IN THE KENYAN MARKET

SUPERVISOR:  PROF. A.N. GUANTAI

YEAR: 2012

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to assess the safety profile of M001, a natural health supplement that enhances memory.  This was done by estimating its maximum  tolerated dose,  its effect on mortality and morbidity, determining its liver and renal toxicity level, and also be assessing its effect on other major organs namely: heart, lungs and spleen.

Justification: M001 is an herbal medicine.  Following the increase  in popularity ;and use of herbal medicines in Kenya, there is need to ensure their quality and standardization.  This study provided safety data of the mentioned herbal drug, which is necessary for its appropriate use.

Experimental Design and Area: The assessment of the safety profile of M001 was laboratory based analytical study.  White rats were used to carry out in vivo tests to determine acute toxicity.  This research was conducted in the undergraduate pharmacology laboratory which is in the University of Nairobi, School of Pharmacy, department of Pharmacology & Pharmacognosy.

Methodology: The rats were divided into three groups; the untreated group (the negative control), the positive control group (each rat received a single dose of 20ml/kg body weight of 20% w/v carbon tetrachloride) and the test group (each rat received a dose of 12ml/kg body weight of M001 per day for 4 days.  The recommended therapeutic dose in humans is 0.14-0.28ml/kg body weight)  on the 5th day, all the experimental rats were sacrificed by cervical dislocation and their blood samples collected by cardiac puncture.  The blood was anlysed for levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and serum creatinine.  The dead rats were then dissected and the morphology of the major organs was studies.

Result and Conclusion: The maximum tolerated dose of M001 was above 12ml/kg body weight.  This dose was not associated with mortality or morbidity. But it caused a reduction in body weight and weight of some organs (liver, heart spleen, lungs).  The weight of kidneys increased.  M001 caused moderate hepatotoxicity at high doses.  But it was not nephrotoxic.  The drug did not cause any morphological observable change in the heart.  However, in the lungs and the spleen, there were slight changes.  The lungs became mottled in appearance while the spleen was slightly darkened.

Recommendations: I recommend that further study to be done using larger animal sample sizes.  I also recommend that more detailed assessment methods using wider parameter ranges for analysis in the laboratory to be applied.  For example carrying out histopathological studies of the organs and assaying more liver enzymes.

 

KIUNGA T. M’KUCIANA

THE PHARMACIST-INITIATED CHANGES TO DRUG THERAPY AND PATIENT MANAGEMENT AT KNH

SUPERVISOR:  PROF. C.K. MAITAI

YEAR: 2012

Abstract:

Pharmacists resolve critical drug-related problems in KNH.  The number, frequency and importance of these pharmacist-initiated interventions contribute a lot to the general well being of the patients.

Objectives:  This study is aimed at highlighting some of these contributions and the impact they have had on patients quality of life.

Study Design and Methodology: This study is aimed at documenting some of the interventions made by pharmacists at KNH.  The study will be carried out within a period of two weeks after ethical approval and the date will be recorded and analyzed.  Analysis will be based on the type of intervention and the effectiveness of the intervention and this will be presented in tabular form.

Intended use of results: The result will shed light on the importance of pharmacists in a hospital.  It will also portray the dynamic role that pharmacists have to play in the overall management of patients.

 

BENJAMIN MWITI MUCHENA

RETROSPECTIVE SURVEY OF CHEMOTHERAPY SCHEDULING FOR CANCER PATIENTS ADMITTED AT KENYATTA NATIONAL HOSPITAL ADULTS WARDS (WARDS 8C, 1B, AND GFD)

SUPERVISOR:  PROF. C.K. MAITAI

YEAR:  2012

Abstract

How often patients receive chemotherapy at KNH depend on the type of cancer one has nad the drug or combination of drugs one receives.  Different drugs work at varying stages in the cancer cell growth process.  Taking these factors into consideration doctors help the patients determine th most effective treatment.  Chemotherapy may be used in combination with surgery.  The doctor carefully determines the patients chemotherapy dose and schedule.

Objective:  to describe the characteristics of patients admitted for cancer chemotherapy in adult wards at KNH by age, gender, cancer types, percentages of patients receiving chemotherapy as planned schedule, the possible reasons for non-compliance with chemotherapy schedule, the chemotherapy regimens administered to the admitted patients over the study period.

Design and Methodology:  the study was retrospective survey which was hospital based.  The sample size was determined by selecting patients files for the study period.  A pre-test review was carried out to check data quality control procedure.  The data was analyzed using the SPSS software.

Intended use of results:  the information obtained from this study would shed light of this speculated delay and therefore help to strengthen the need for a day care centre where patients come in daily for their chemotherapy.

Results:  from the survey it was observed that 44(61%) of the patients who received chemotherapy were female and 28(39%) were male with ages ranging from 17 years to 72 years.  63(88%) of the patients received chemotherapy as per the planned schedule while 9(2%) had their schedules interrupted.

 

M’MELLA ANNEGRETTE ISUMBA

TO ESTBLISH THE EXTENT OF USE AND PATTERNS OF VENOUS THROMBOEMBOLISM PROPHYLAXIX AMONG POST ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY PATIENTS ADMITTED IN KENYATTA NATIONAL HOSPITAL

SUPERVISOR: PROF. G. MURIUKI

YEAR :  2012

Abstract:

Venous thromboembolism comprises both DVT and PE.  It is a major complication in orhtopaedic surgery patients.  This is due to antimal injury of blood vessels, release of certain chemical substances that promote clotting i.e. antigens and venous stasis.  The clinically silent nature of the disease in the majority of patients, and the mordibility, costs and potential mortality associate with unprevented thrombi creates the need for thromboprophylaxi.  Since the first manifestation of the disease may be fatal PE, it is inappropriate to wait for symptoms ans then rely on the diagnosis and treatment of established VTE.  Those who have once suffered from DVT are at risk of getting it again thus it can be chronic disease yet it can be prevented.  VTE accounts for approximately 10% of deaths in hospitals and has been identified as the most preventable cause of death during hospitalization.

Objective: The main purpose of hits study was to carry out a survey of extent and pattern of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis use a month post orthopedic surgery patients in KNH.

Methodology: This was a retrospective study of patients over a time period of one year from January 2011 – December 2011 of patients who were admitted as post orthopaedic surgery patients in KNH.

The patients files were selected were received and data collected using the data collection form.  The data was then entered into Microsoft excel document and analyzed using SPSS.

Data analysis: Quantitative data obtained using the data collection tool was analyzed by SPSS.

 

MATHERI KEVIN KINYANJUI: 

COMPARISON OF THE ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF TRADITIONALLY FERMENTED KENYAN MILK, MAZIWA MALA AND FRESH MILK.

SUPERVISOR:  PROF. G. MURIUKI

YEAR: 2012

Abstract:

In this study, proteinaceous substances (bacteriocins) produced by lactobacilli (lactic acid bacteria) found in fermented milk were found to have antimicrobioal activity against microorganisms like staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.  The bacteriocins produced by lactobacillia include acidophillin, lactobacillan, acidolin and lactocidin among others.  They exhibit bacterialcidal, and bacteriastatic activity but no detectable antifungal activity.  These isolated bacteriocins work in synery according to several studies done to exhibit antimicrobial activity against these microorganism.  This study investigated the activity of bacteriocins found in tradionally fermented milk collected from dairy farmers from Kiambu Count, in central province (Kenya) commercially prepared fermented milk from Fresha Dairy Products Company and fresh milk sampled from dairy farmers from the same count.  Fresh milk contains components like N-Acetyl-B-D glucosamindase (NAGase) with low antimicrobial activity against S.aureus, E.coli and C.albicans.  Lactofferin and in fresh milk is bacteriostatic against S.aureus  and while lysozyme has antimicrobiola activity against E.coli.    Lactoferrin from human milk has activity against C.albicans.  Maziwa mala contains live cultures of lactobacilli from which bacteriocins were extracted hence, exhibited high antimicrobial activity against the test organisms.  The antimicrobial activity of the three samples was quantified through measurement of htier respective zones of inhabition in a well diffucion assay procedure.

Key words:  whey, bacteriocins, lacti acid bacteria (lactobacilli), fermentation, commercially fermented milk, tradionally fermented milk, lactoferrin.

 

OWIINO ROBERT OMONDI

PHARMACOLOGICAL STUDY, PHYTOCHEMICAL AND INVESTIGATION OF THE ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF EXTRACTS OF CURCUMA LONGA

SUPERVISOR BY:  PROF. G. MURIUKI

YEAR:  2012

Abstract:

The main objective of this research was to investigate the antimicrobial activity of rhizome extracts of Curcuma longa, pharmacological effect on rabbit ileum as well as study of the basic Phytochemical composition of the plant extract.

It is believed that curcumin as important fraction of turmeric is the one responsible for its biological activity therefore this research involved isolation and assessment of chloroform nad methanol ectracts against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and candida albicans

A Phytochemical analysis was also conducted to study the main Phytochemical components of the plant extract which shows that the extract contain alkaloids and tannins.

A this layer chromatography was also done on the extracts to separate and to visualize the various components of the organis extract which I could visualize the various spots separated in both the methanol and chloroform extracts but since there was not reference standard it was impossible to know the actual individual component.

The antibacterial activity was dertmined using agar well diffusion technique and solvents used were distilled water for methanol extract and DMSO for chloroform extract.

Methanol extract at low concentration had some inhition against Staphylococcus aureus with no inhabitation of Escherichia coli and candid albicans on the other hand chloroform extract was active against Candida albicans with no activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

Both methanol and chloroform extracts caused relaxation on the rabbit ileum similar to the exhibited with adrenaline suggesting the use of tis agent as potential antidiarrheal agent or antispasmodic agent.

 

SYLVIA GATWIRI RUNGU

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF PHYTOCHEMICAL COMPONENTS OF THE FRESH ROOT EXTRACT, POWEDER & CAPSULES OF WITHANIA SOMNIFERA (L) DUNAL

SUPERVISOR:  PROF. J. W. MWANGI

YEAR:  2012

Abstract:

As we embark on the journey of providing better and safer drugs for our country and continent, it is responsibility to ensure that the drugs the Kenyan population is taking are of quality and genuine origin.

A drug with all the above health properties is very useful especially in our country where drug options for various diseases are limited.  This study gives scientific credits for the treatment of asthma and also shows that in extraction of components, methanol gave the highest percentage yields i.e. powder extract=1.3%, capsules extract=4.5% and plant extract=1.85%.

 

MWAVU DORYNE MBULA

PHYTOCHEMICAL AND ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITIES OF EMEX AUSTRALIS STEINH

SUPERVISOR:  PROF J.W. MWANGI

YEAR:  2012

Abstract:

The study was based on a common weed found in various part of Kenya, Emex australis steinh.  The whole plant material was dried and crushed.  The plant material was then extracted sequentially using chloroform and methanol.  The study investigated the Phytochemical propertied of Emex australis steinh.  The standard procedures of performing Phytochemical tests were used.  The plant was found to contain saponin, proteins, amino acids. Diterpenes, flavanoids and phenols.  The antibacterial activity of E.australis on Staphylococcus aureus and Eschericha coli was also investigated.   The well diffusion assay was used.  Both methanol and chloroform extracts did not show any activity against the S.aureus.  however,, the methanol extract showed very minimal activity against E.coli while the chloroform extract had no activity against exhibited no activity against the fungi.  The T.L.C. profiles of E.australis was also performed.  The T.L.C. profile of the chloroform separated into 6 compounds while the methanol extract separated into 2 compounds.

 

PETER KAMAU GATHII

PHYTOCHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES OF BIDENS PILOSAL (BLACK JACK)

SUPERVISOR:  PROF. J.W. MWANGI

YEAR:  2012

Abstract:

Bidens pilosa L. is a plant in the Asteraceae family that is an erect slender plant which grows annually to a height of about 1-1.5m.  It is  a dicot which grows in most parts of Kenya mostly on disturbed land.

The objective of this study was to investigate the Phytochemical propertied and biological activities of biden pilosa.

The antibacterial activity was investigated using Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli while anti-fungal activity was investigated using candida albicans.  The chloroform extract showed slight anti-fungal activity and antibacterial activity while the methano extract had antibacterial activity but no anti-fungal activity.  The plant also showed slight antiviral activity which was tested using the brine shrimp.

Phytochemical tests were conducted and results show the plant contains tannins and glycosides.  TLC was also carried out and identified 5 components in the chloroform extract and 2 components in the methanol extract.

The test on effect of the plant extract on isolated rabbit ileum was carried out B.pilosa causes a decrease in motility of rabbit ileum.

Further tests should be carried out on plants from different geographical locations to identify if there are any variation in the Phytochemical properties of the plants.  Also tests on the toxicity profile of the plants should be conducted.

 

KINYUA LENNOX KABUGA

A RETROSPECTIVE STUDY ON THE DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT PATTERNS AND THERAPEUTIC OUTCOMES OF HEPATITIS IN HIV INFECTED PATIENTS AT KNH, CCC AND MOPC.

SUPERVISOR:  DR. ERIC M. GUANTAI

YEAR:  2012

The survival of patients suffering from Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS has dramatically escalated with the progressive advancement of antiretroviral therapy. Concurrently, morbidity has shunt from that related to the various opportunistic infections to that attributed to complications of chronic diseases such as hepatitis B and C. (Fung, 2004)

The study’s objective was to review the diagnostic patterns, treatment patterns and therapeutic outcomes of hepatitis/ HIV co-infected patients in KNH, MOPC and CCC. The retrospective study involved data collection from medical records of patients’ with Hepatitis/ HIV co-infection who fit the inclusion criteria. Ethical approval was obtained from the Kenyatta National Hospital/University of Nairobi Ethics and Research Committee. The study period wasform Jan2009 to December 2012.

Among the 150 patients under study, 92 (61%) were male patients and 58 (39%) were female patients. It was also seen that the age group 31-45years had the highest prevalence of the HIV/Hepatitis co-infections. HBV/ HIV co-infection was the most common in all genders and age groups.

The management of the conditions in KNH only involves use of HAART where the most commonly used regimen in all cases is 3TC/ TDF/ (EFV or NVP). HBV- specific or HCV- specific regimens were not used in any of the cases. This is because the current national guidelines advice mainly on the time to initiate ART basedom the CD4 count and do not emphasize on the use of the other regimes.

Most of the patients (87%) with the co-infection admitted at KNH stabilized and were discharged via MOPC or CCC. A small number (13%) of the study group succumbed to their ailments and passed on.

 

NDERITU ANTHONY NDEI

DIAGNOSTIC METHODS, TREATMENT PATTERNS AND THERAPEUTIC OUTCOMES OF CRYPTOCOCCAL MENINGITIS AS AN OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTION IN HIV/AIDS PATIENTS AT KENYATTA NATIONAL HOSPITAL

SUPERVISOR:  DR. ERIC M. GUANTAI

YEAR:  2012

Introduction: Cryptococcal meningitis is a common opportunistic infection in AIDS patients, particularly in Southeast Asia and Africa. Cases also occur in patients with other forms of immunosupression and in apparently immunocompetent individuals. Mortality from HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis remains high (10-30%), even in developed countries. This is because of the inadequacy of current antifungal drugs and the complication of raised intracranial pressure. In cohorts of HIV-infected patients from sub-Saharan Africa, cryptococcosis has accounted for 13-44% of all deaths.

Objective: To assess the treatment patterns, therapeutic outcomes and other management strategies in the HIV/AIDS patients with Cryptococcal meningitis at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

Methodology: The study was a retrospective study. The study population was randomly selected; only HIV/AIDS adult patients diagnosed with Cryptococcal meningitis. The sample size of 72 patients files were taken for the study.

A pre-test review was carried out to check out data quality control procedures. Data analysis was done using the SPSS 13.0 software.

Only HIV/AIDS patients with Cryptococcal meningitis whose records are on file were included in the study. Patients with incomplete files and those who their HIV/AIDS statuses have not been determined were excluded from the study.

Ethical considerations were taken into account while collecting the data as directed by the Kenyatta National hospital/University of Nairobi Ethics Committee.

Results and discussion: A total of 72 files met the inclusion criteria. Females were 43 and males 29.Age between 30-39 years had the most number of cases. The diagnostic methods used for diagnosis of Cryptococcal meningitis at KNH are Indian ink and CRAG test. Indian ink was used in 55 patients; CRAG test was used in 17 patients. Drugs used for treatment were fluconazole and amphotericinB. In severe cases amphotericin B was combined with fluconazole.56 patients had severe cryptococcal meningitis. The condition improved in 56 patients, worsened in 12 patients and 4 patients died.

 

JOHN OUMA NANGURI

A RETROSPECTIVE STUDY OF THE DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT PATTERNS AND THERAPEUTIC OUTCOMES OF BACTERIAL PNEUMONIA IN ADULT HIV/AIDS PATIENTS IN KNH

SUPERVISOR:  DR. ERIC M. GUANTAI

YEAR:  2012

Background: HIV/AIDS is a viral infection in which the affected individuals develop a progressive failure of the immune system. The infection occurs mainly by transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate or breastmilk. This occurs during unprotected sex, use of contaminated needles, breastfeeding or from an infected mother to her baby. Since its discovery in 1981, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is considered pandemic, affecting all populations around the world. Though treatment with antiretrovirals reduces both morbidity and mortality of HIV, delayed treatment or unavailability of ARVs may result to other complications that might make it challenging to manage HIV. The untreated individuals develop Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Opportunistic Infections amongst them being Bacterial Pneumonia, that hasten death of these patients.

Study objectives: The study was mainly aimed at reviewing the treatment patterns and therapeutic outcomes of bacterial pneumonia in HIV/AIDS in Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). The outcome of the information in this study will give a basis on which the management of HIV/AIDS patients with co-infection of Bacterial Pneumonia in KNH can be reviewed and improved to promote the quality of care of these patients at the institution.

Methodology: The study was   a retrospective study of medical records within KNH. The study population constituted HIV/AIDS patients with bacterial pneumonia who were managed at KNH in the year 2011. It was conducted at the  Medical Records Department of KNH. The  patients  files  were  selected  within  the  period  of  study  and  the  relevant  data  entered  onto  a  pre-designed  data  collection  sheet.

Data  analysis: The data was analyzed based on study parameters which included sex, age and treatment regimens used. The analyzed data was used to compare the management of Bacterial Pneumonia in KNH with treatment guidelines recommended by Centre for Disease Control and World Health Organization.

Expected  application  of  results: The dissertation is to be submitted in partial fulfillment for the award of the degree of Bachelor of Pharmacy. It is hoped that the findings of this study will promote the proper management of Bacterial Pneumonia patients in KNH according to the recommendations of Centre for Disease Control and World Health Organization.

 

NGONI KEVIN KHAOYA

A STUDY ON DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT AND THERAPEUTIC OUTCOMES OF PNEUMOCYSTIS JIROVECI PNEUMONIA IN ADULT HIV/AIDS INPATIENTS AT THE KENYATTA NATIONAL HOSPITAL

SUPERVISOR:  DR. ERIC M. GUANTAI

YEAR:  2012

Background: HIV/AIDS is a systemic viral infection that leads to compromised immunity in infected individuals. This leads to the patient developing opportunistic diseases caused by pathogens such as Pneumocystis jiroveci, Cryptococcus, Candida albicans among others. It is commonly opportunistic infections that eventually lead to the death of the patient.

Objective: To review the diagnosis, treatment and therapeutic outcomes of Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia in adult HIV/AIDS inpatients at KNH.

Study design and methodology: The study was a hospital-based retrospective study. Ethical approval to carry out the study was obtained from the Kenyatta National Hospital/University of Nairobi Ethics and Research Committee.

Results: The study was carried out from June 2012 to August 2012, during which a sample size of 189 patients was obtained. Of these patients, 35.45% were males and 64.55% females. 24.33% of the patients died and 75.67% resolved. 98.41% of the patients were on the first-line regimen for the management of Pneumocystis Pneumonia, which was TMP-SMX or TMP-SMX plus a corticosteroid and 1.59% of the patients on the second line regimen of Dapsone. The commonly used diagnostic methods at KNH were BGA, LFT and CXR as the least common used method was induced sputum.

 

NGUGI SAMUEL GITAU

PILOT EXTRACTION OF HECOGENIN FROM SISAL(Agave sisalana)

SUPERVISOR: DR. FAITH A. OKALEBO

YEAR:  2012

Abstract

Hecogenin is a sapogenin obtained from sisal and it is the starting material for the synthesis of steroidal drugs.  Hecogenin is present in the sisal juice extract from crushing of the sisal leave, a process referred to as the decertification process.  These drugs are sex hormones, corticosteroids and oral contraceptives.  Kenya is one the worlds’ biggest producers of sisal. 

This study is expected to demonstrate the feasibility of extraction of hecogenin from sisal in Kenya.  It will form the basis for a larger extraction procedure at industrial level.  No successful method of extraction of hecogenin has been utilized in Kenya.  This is the reason why in Kenya, sisal is exported without extraction of the active principles like hecogenin and other ingredients in the juice.

Two methods of extraction will be compared during the study.  One of the method is the hydrolysis method obtained from United States Patent Office (February 14, 1956).  This involves acid hydrolysis of the sapogenin in the juice to obtain a hydrolyzate.  A mixture of hecogenin and tigogenin is obtained from the hydrolyzate by crystallization with heptanes.  A cetylation and preferential recrystallization of the mixture yields hecogenin.  The second method is the acetone method, which involves precipitation of the saponins using chilled acetone.  The precipitate is cleaned with methanol to obtain hecogenin.

This study will help in improving export revenue returns from sisal since Kenyan export market concentrates mainly on fiber leaving the juice extract to be treated as wastes.  Extraction of hecogenin introduces a pharmaceutically important commodity to the market, hence the higher returns.

 

KIVUTI GEORGE GITONGA

EVALUATION OF HEPATOTOXICITY AND NEPHROTOXICITY OF ANTIDIABETIC PHYTOPHARMACEUTICALS

SUPERVISOR: DR. FAITH A. OKALEBO

YEAR: 2012

Abstract:

Diabetes mellitus is a condition characterized by improperly regulated homeostasis of carbohydrates and lipids metabolism.  Tow main strategies are employed in the management of this condition: pharmacological and non pharmacological intervention.  Non pharmacological interventions include proper diet, exercise, losing weight, quitting smoking and cutting on alcohol intake.  Pharmacological interventions are based on administration of hypoglycemic agents which can be either herbal of synthetic in origin.  The world health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4 billion people (approximately 80% of the world population) use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care.  Herbal medicine is a major component in all indigenous traditional medicine and is a common element in ayurvedic, homeopathic and alternative medicine.  Unfortunately, most of the information concerning herbal medicine is outside currently database and remains unavailable to physicians, researchers and patients.  This includes information on pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, drug toxicity and also drug chemical composition and stability information.  It is therefore necessary to conduct toxicity studies on phytopharmaceuticals.

 

KARIUKI ELIZABETH NJOKI

ASSESSMENT FOR THE PRESENCE OF AFLATOXINS AND HEAVY METALS IN COMMERCIAL AVAILABLE HERBAL MEDICINES

SUPERVISOR:  DR. FAITH A. OKALEBO

YEAR: 2012

Abstract:

It is estimated that about 70-80% of the worlds’ population relies on non-conventional medicine, mainly of herbal origin.  The idea that just because herbal medicine products some from natural sources they are completely safe is dangerously false: they are sometimes contaminated either intentionally or unintentionally in a variety o ways with toxic heavy metals, pesticide residues an microbes which impose serious health risks to consumer.  It is therefore critical to screen herbal medicine for heavy metals and aflatoxins in order to ensure that they are safe for use.

The purpose of this study was to assess for the presence of heavy metals and aflatoxins and thus determine the safety of commercially available herbal medicine in the Kenyans market since it is gaining popularity especially in the treatment of chronic illness.

It was a laboratory based analytical study.  Nine samples were obtained by convenient sampling of herbal medicine from a herbal shop and screening was carried out using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy for heavy metals and Thin Layer Chromatography for aflatoxins.  The results obtained were be fed into an excel package for Data analysis and presented in the form tables, histograms and pie charts.

From the results none of the samples were contaminated with aflatoxins, cadmium or copper.  A significant percentage (66.7%) of the samples was contaminated with negligible amounts of lead.

These findings showed that commercially available herbal medicines lack toxic levels of heavy metals and aflatoxins.  Further research is required on a larger sample size which will be a clear reflection on the prevalence of the contaminants in herbal medicine in Kenya and ascertain for sure that these remedies are safe for use.

 

MUTHAMI RITA WANJUGU 

MACROSCOPIC AND MICROSCOPIC STUDY OF Tithonia diversifolia Conyza Canadensis AND Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium

SUPERVISOR: DR. A.K. GATUMA

YEAR: 2012

Abstract:

Plants constitute an effective source of traditional and modern medicines.  The plant is a biosynthetic laboratory for multitudes of chemical compounds which can be found in different part e.g. leaves, bark, fruits. Flowers etc.  this project is confined to study the macroscopic and microscopic features of Tithonia diversifolia, Conyza Canadensis and Chrysanthemum cinerarifolium.  It is important to know the macroscopic and microscopic features of medicinal plants since this aids in; taxonomic classification of unknown plants and authentification of plants with potential therapeutic properties i.e. medicinal plants.  Also it makes it easy to identify plants in the field.

The macroscopic and microscopic features to be investigated include:

  • Examination of the leaves to show the type of; leaf arrangement, shape, attachment, venation, stomata, calcium oxalate crystals, trichomes/hairs etc.
  • Examination of the flowers to show features like the calyx, corolla, androecium, gymnoecium, receptacle, ovary, pedicel, indicate symmetry, type of fluorescences etc.
  • Examination of the roots to show the type of roots, identify cortex, endodermis, pericycle, vascular bundles, cambium etc.
  • Examination of the fruits to show features like exocarp, mesocarp, endocarp, type of fruit etc.

 

KIPTANUI STELLA CHERONO

PHARMACOGNOSTIC STUDY OF THE PLANTS (Ricinus communis, Thevetia Peruviana and Ajuga remota)

SUPERVISOR: DR. A. K. GATUMA

YEAR: 2012

Abstract:      

Pharmacognostic study of Ricinus communis, Thevetia peruciana and Ajuga remota was carried out.

This was done by macroscopic investigation of the parts of the plants including photographs of those parts and microscopic investigation of the plant parts to show their detailed structure.

In doing so, the plants can be easily identified for their use in medicine and in production of synthetic drugs for the market.

 

MAINA PHYLLIS MUTHONI

MACROSCOPIC AND MICROSCOPIC FEATURES OF Urtica dioica, cucurbita ficifolius AND Amaranthus spinosus

SUPERVISOR: DR. A.K. GATUMA

YEAR: 2012

Abstract:

The characterization of Urtica dioica, Cucurbita ficifolia and Amaranthus spinosus was carried out in order to be able to identify them in their habitants.

Macroscopic and microscopis analyses were carried out on the various parts of the plants to characterize them.

These plants have spectrum of medicinal uses when used in their raw and some in their processed forms.

 

ADAM AHMED MASOUD

INVESTIGATION OF PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTIONS OF ACMELLA CAULIRHIZA

SUPERVISOR: DR K A SINEI.

YEAR:  2012

Abstract

A diverse range of bioactive molecules are found in plants, making them rich source of different types of medicines. Most drugs are today obtained from natural sources or semi-synthetic derivatives of natural products and used in traditional systems of medicines. Pharmacological experiments illustrate the limits of feasibility and the fundamental principles of drug action. They involve the use of whole animals or isolated organs. This may sometimes vary and it may not be possible to predict the response. The tissues are mostly kept at temperature of 37◦C. However it may be varied depending on the environment required for the experiment. Plants contain several hundred constituents and some of them are present at low concentration. In spite of modern chemical analytical procedures, only rarely do phytochemical investigations succeed in isolating and characterizing all secondary metabolites present in plant extract. Such active ingredients are extracted and their constituents identified. Source and quality of raw materials play a great role in guaranteeing the quality and stability of herbal preparations. Factors like use of fresh plants, temperature, light exposure, water availability and transportation can affect quality. Proper standardization and quality control of raw material and the herbal preparation should be permanently carried out in the cases where active principles are known, marker substances should be used for analytical purposes. The plant materials were collected from the wild. The extracts were sequentially macerated in different solvents. A number of tests were then done using the extracts. The rabbit ileum showed motility with the methanol and chloroform extracts. The hot water extract showed immotility. This means that the plant contains more than one compound. Different compounds in the plant exhibit different activity. The plant extract had activity similar to adrenaline on the heart when hot distilled waater and methanol extract were used. Hot distilled water and merthanol extract also exhibited oxytocin like activity on the rat uterus. The analgrsic properties of the plant extract was also portrayed in the hot hot plate experiment. The dose response curve shows that the plant has compounds with sufficient activity. Further screening should be done to isolate the different compounds found in the plant to generate better active and potent drugs.   

    

NKAIWUATEI EVELYN SIAITI

PHYTOCHEMICAL AND ANTIMICROBIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF ACMELLA CAULIRHIZA

SUPERVISOR: DR K A SINEI

YEAR:  2012

Abstract

Acmella caulirhiza is a plant used traditionally in Africa and rest of the world as an analgesic but comprehensive scientific work has not been carried out on the plant hence the need to study more on it. The aim of the project was to carry out extraction of Acmella caulirhiza and carry out column and thin layer chromatography on the plant extracts. Some phytochemical and antimicrobial studies were performed on the plant extracts. The powder of the dried plant of Acmella caulirhiza was found to contain tannins and glycosides. The powder of the plant however did not contain any alkaloids and saponins. Thin layer chromatography was carried out on the chloroform and methanol extracts using 100% chloroform as the mobile phase system, showed separation of the various compounds found in each of the extracts. Column chromatography was also performed on the chloroform extract and collected fractions subjected to thin layer chromatography which revealed presence of different compounds in the fractions. Antimicrobial activity was also tested and the chloroform extract showed activity against Escherichia coli while no activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. The methanol and water extracts showed no antimicrobial activity.

 

RUMBERIA BEATRICE KARIMI

INVESTIGATION OF THE EFFECT OF URTICA MASSAICA ALCOHOLIC LEAF EXTRACT ON BODY WEIGHT

SUPERVISOR: DR N. N. MUNGAI

YEAR: 2012

Abstract

Obesity and overweight, once associated with the high income earning countries is now prevalent in low and middle income countries. Data extracted from WHO BMI( Body Mass Index) records for the year 2003 depicted the prevalence of overweight in Kenya’s urban areas was 12.3% and 4.4% in the rural areas.

Nutritionists and dieters praise the ability of Urtica massaica to aid in weight loss. Available ethno pharmacological information demonstrates a significant role of herbal preparations in weight loss management although their clinical relevance remains poorly established in the scientific context.

The main objective of this research was to investigate the effect of Urtica massaica alcohol leaf extract on the body weight as well to study the phytochemical composition of the leaf. In this study mice were used as the animal experimental model. Four groups were used. The ethanol extract of the leaves showed a weight reduction effect on the weight of the mice. The weight reduction effect was observed to increase as higher doses of the plant extract were administered.

A phytochemical analysis was conducted to establish the main phytochemical components of the plant extract. Glycosides, tannins and saponins were found to be present. Thin layer chromatography was done to separate and visualize the various components and six components were identified.

 

NJOYA MARION NJERI 

PHYTOCHEMICAL AND PHARMACOLOGICAL SCREENING OF THE LEAVES OF AMARANTHUS SPINOSUS

SUPERVISOR:  DR. N. N. MUNGAI

YEAR:  2012

Abstract

Amaranthus spinosus is a species in the family of Amaranthaceae. It is believed to originate from the lowland tropical South and Central America and was introduced into other warmer parts of the world. It has numerous medicinal uses. The leaves have been reported to possess diuretic activity.

This study dealt with macroscopic, preliminary phytochemical and pharmacological investigation of the leaves of Amaranthus spinosus. Its main aim was to investigate the diuretic property in both aqueous and non-aqueous extracts. Thin layer chromatography was also carried out to separate and visualize the components.

 Preliminary phytochemical tests done on the powdered leaves showed that they contained glycosides, tannins steroids and saponins. Pharmacological screening for diuretic activity was done on rats with aqueous, chloroform and ethanol extracts. The aqueous and chloroform extracts showed no activity while the ethanol extract showed significant activity.