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This study evaluated the efficacy of a combination of artemether and diminazene aceturate therapy in experimental Trypanosoma brucei infection in rats. Thirty five male albino rats used for the study were randomly assigned to seven groups of five rats each as follows: Group A- infected and treated with diminazene aceturate (DA) at 7.0 mg/kg body weight (bw), intramuscular (IM) once on day 7 post-infection (pi); Group B – infected and treated with artemether (ART) at 3.2 mg/kg bw IM on day 7pi and 1.6mg/kg bw IM on days 8,9,10 and 11pi; Groups C,D and E, – infected and treated with DA at 7.0 mg/kg bw IM, 3.5 mg/kg bw IM, and 1.75 mg/kg bw IM respectively, once on day 7pi and ART at 3.2 mg/kg bw IM on day 7pi plus 1.6mg/kg bw on days 8,9,10 and 11pi; Group F –infected, untreated and Group G – uninfected, untreated. Onset of parasitaemia (OP), level of parasitaemia (LOP), clearance of parasites post treatment, mortality post infection, relapse of parasitaemia post clearance, rectal temperature, and body weight, were determined at specified intervals during the 70-day experimental period. Results showed that there were no significant (p>0.05) variations in the OP and LOP between the infected groups. Trypanosomes were cleared from the blood of rats in group A, C, D, and E after treatment. All the rats in groups B and F were dead by day 14pi. The infection relapsed in groups C and E. It was concluded that a combination of DA (3.5mg/kg bw once) and ART (3.2 mg/kg bw on day 1 of treatment and 1.6 mg/kg bw for 4 consecutive days) exhibited efficacy comparable to the standard dose of DA at 7mg/kg in the treatment of trypanosome brucei in rats and could thus possibly constitute an effective treatment regimen to reduce the dose of DA and avoid toxicity.
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