Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease caused by protozoa Toxoplasma gondii with a quite high prevalence. Nearly one-third of the world's population is infected by protozoa that is found in cats. This bacterial infection rarely causes an overt disease, but it could cause miscarriage and neurogical disorders in pregnant women and fetus.
Meanwhile, treatment in patients with toxoplasmosis is rather difficult because the parasite can form cysts in the system. In addition, it also has a defense mechanism against host’s immune system.
"For all this time the patient of toxoplasmosis treated with antibiotics such as spiramycin, pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine, but the antibiotics have contraindications with pregnant women and can kill the normal flora of the gastrointestinal tract," said by Difti Rosalina R, a student of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine UGM, Friday (17/6).
Given this fact, along with fellow students Mulya Fitranda AR., Vincentia T. Yoelinda, Beatrix and Dody Adi Nugroho, Difti attempted to create a formula to solve the issue. They utilized natural material such as Eclipta prostrata in the manufacture of a drug named Albatox.
"Eclipta Prostrata or Urang-aring has wedelolactone compounds that can increase the ability of immune cells and antibody in the human body," she explained.
To prove this statement, they carried out research by infecting Wistar mice aged two months to takizoitT. gondii. From the results of Latex Agglutination Test (LAT) and macrophage test, mice infected with takizoitT gondii and treated with Albatox can produce antibodies more quickly than the untreated ones. Not only that, the phagocytic ability of mice’s macrophages also showed an increase.
"Albatox can boost the immune system in patients with toxoplasmosis. Antibodies in the treated mice showed up on the third day while for untreated mice showed up on the sixth day after infection," she explained.
Although it has been shown to improve immunity, future studies are needed in greater depth to know effectiveness of Eclipta Prostrata in improving human immunity.