Body Weight and Serum IgE Levels in Wistar Albino Rats Exposed to Chili Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.)
A nano-biotechnology investigation of the body weight changes and serum IgE levels of wistar Albino rats exposed to Chili pepper (Capsicum annuum) particles was carried out, in an attempt to proffer a safe nano-organic rat repellent to eradicate or control the Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria and other endemic West African countries. Body weights of rats were measured before and after exposure to graded doses of C. anuum aroma. The wistar Albino rats were randomly placed into four different groups consisting of the control (0%) (A) and exposed groups of 10% (B), 50% (C) and 100% (D) pepper particles in solution. The rats were exposed to cotton balls soaked in the Chili pepper nano-solution for 10 days. At the end of which blood samples of the exposed rats and control were collected for the Radioimmunoassay (RIA). Mean body weights of the exposed rats were significantly (p<0.05) different from that of the control rats. Mean body weights (in grams) before treatment were as follows: groups A (34.75 ± 8.421), B (282.25 ± 5.852), C (304.75 ± 9.179) and D (332.00 ± 13.115) while mean body weights (in grams) after treatment were A (275.50 ± 18.193), B (256.00 ± 6.481), C (279.25 ± 10.404) and D (306.00 ± 7.257). Serum IgE levels after exposure were 13.200 mg/ml ± 0.56 mg/ml, 16.1500 mg/ml ± 0.35 mg/ml and 19.500 mg/ml ± 0.42 mg/ml for exposed groups B, C and D respectively, values significantly (p<0.05) higher than the mean value of serum IgE in the control rats (9.90 mg/ml ± 0.20 mg/ml). The loss of body weight and raised serum IgE levels after exposure to Chili pepper nanoparticles, are indications that Chili pepper may have triggered allergenic reactions in the Albino rats, and could be harnessed in part or wholly as a control measure in the fight against the Lassa fever endemic ravaging communities in Nigeria and other West African countries.