Toxocariasis is an infection often found in developing countries. WHO data recorded the prevalence of toxocariasis reached 16.67 percent all over the world. This zoonosis is often found in Indonesia, too, especially among children.
This disease is caused by toxocara canis worms in dogs, toxocara cati in cats, or toxocara vitulorum in cows. The parasite infection may cause damage and inflammation in body tissue. Treatment is usually done with synthetic drugs, such as Albendazole, but its use may cause digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and allergies.
This condition prompted five Veterinary Science students of Universitas Gadjah Mada, Deny H. Tambunan, Rosa Lakshita Nugrahani, Puspita Dewi Fortuna, Iqbal Fathurahman, and Ni Made A.LW., to find a solution to cure toxocariasis. They found a way able to cure toxocariasis by using great morinda.
“Great morinda is often found in Indonesia, but it is not much used, rather being ignored by people. As a matter of fact, the fruit has benefits, including to be used as toxocariasis medicine due to its antihelminthics compound,” said Rosa on Monday (22/2) at Faculty of Veterinary Science.
To know the antihelminthic activity of great morinda, these students did a test to five cats already infected with toxocariasis. They first made the great morinda extract.
“We give the great morinda extract dissolved with aquades to the cats twice in two weeks,” she said.
The test showed that the fruit extract may decrease the growth of eggs of toxocara cati parasitic worms. The extract is made in four concentrates, 40 percent, 60 percent, 80 percent, and 100 percent.
“The optimal result is gained through the 100% of extract concentrate. After the the third day, no toxocara egg has been found in the cat faeces,” said Rosa.
Rosa added the use of great morinda for treating toxocariasis is safe to human beings, even pregnant mothers, as it is natural.
“Some antihelminthics in the market are harmful to pregnant mothers and foetus, but this great morinda extract is safe,” she said.
Even so, Rosa said that further work was still required on their research. “Various researches are still required to make the extract better, including to get the right dosage for human,” she concluded.