In spite of threats malaria pose to public health, specific records on alterations in some haematologic and biochemical indices of inhabitants of Owerri Municipality infected with P. falciparum malaria have not received wide reports and documentation. Accordingly, the present study sought to investigate alterations in haematologic and biochemical indices of moderately P. falciparum infected male inhabitants of Owerri Municipality. Haematologic and biochemical indices were estimated by spectrophotometric methods. Haemoglobin concentrations of malarious subjects within age brackets of 11 to 20 and 21 to 31 years were below reference interval; [Hb]M;11-21 years = 10.53 ± 0.23 g/dl (p < 0.05); [Hb] M; 21-31 years = 11.51 ± 1.10 g/dl (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) between the two malarious groups; ESRM; 11-20 years = 29.80 ± 0.74 mm/h; ESRM; 21-31 years = 26.51 ± 1.42 mm/h. Packed cell volume (PCV) of malarious subject gave the following values: PCV%M; 11-20 years = 26.82 ± 0.78; PCV%M; 21-31 years = 25.82 ± 0.78; p > 0.05. Serum white blood cell count (WBC) was raised in malarious subjects compared to control groups (p > 0.05) except with WBC × 103M; 21-30 years = 13.77± 3.95; p > 0.05. Serum albumin was lower in malarious subjects; [Albumin]M; 11-20 years = 4.70 ± 0.05 mg/dl and [Albumin]M; 21-31 years = 4.31 ± 0.09 mg/dl; p > 0.05, whereas, serum creatinine concentrations of malarious subjects gave higher values: [Creatinine]M; 11-20 years= 0.88 ± 0.71 mg/dl and [Creatinine]M; 21-31 years = 1.14 ± 0.42 mg/dl; p > 0.05. Serum urea concentrations of malarious subjects were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than the corresponding non-malarious age group. Serum fasting blood sugar (FBS) was significantly (p < 0.05) lower in malarious groups compared to corresponding non-malarious subjects. Specifically, [FBS]M; 11-20 years = 63.34 ± 1.66 mg/dl and [FBS]M; 21-31 years = 69.45 ± 1.25mg/dl; p < 0.05. Subjects with moderate malaria infection showed symptoms of anaemia, alterations in nitrogen and carbohydrate metabolism, exemplified by raised serum level of urea and low level of FBS.
Key words: Haemoglobin, packed cell volume, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, fasting blood sugar, malaria, Plasmodium falciparum.
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