Tuberculosis (TB) remains an important communicable disease all over the world. We therefore undertook this study to evaluate the relationship between TB and serum protein levels. 210 patients with pulmonary TB (PTB) aged 18 years and above from Lagos metropolis and age- and sex-matched controls were studied. Both cases and controls had serum proteins levels evaluated. Serum total globulin was estimated by subtracting the albumin from the total serum protein. Screening for HIV antibodies was done using ELISA (Welcome Diagnostics, pasteur, Marnes-la-cognetee, France); and confirmed with Western Blot test (Dupont de Nemours, USA). Hypoalbuminaemia was detected in 184 (87.60%) of the cases versus 26 (12.38%) of the controls (P=0.001). Hypergammglobulinaemia was higher among cases compared to controls, 189 (90%) versus 90 (42.86%) (P=0.001). The protein sub-fraction, gammaglobulin was also higher in the cases compared with controls [mean 41.45 ± 11.21 vs. 29.42 ± 6.76% (p=0.005)]. Alpha-1 and alpha-2 globulin sub-fractions were however normal in both study groups. HIV antibody test was positive in 11/153 (7.19%) of those who accepted testing. Patients with PTB had lower serum total proteins and serum albumin but higher plasma gammaglobulin levels than controls.
Keywords: Serum proteins, TB, HIV, Nigeria.
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