Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 653

Full Length Research Paper

Serum lipid profile and hepatic dysfunction in moderate Plasmodium falciparum infection

Chikezie, P. C1* and Okpara, R. T2.
1Department of Biochemistry, Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria. 2Department of Biochemistry, University of Port-Harcourt, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 17 July 2013
  •  Published: 30 September 2013


Plasmodium falciparum is one of four distinct species of the malaria parasite that afflicthumans and pose a threat to public health. The present study seeks to ascertain the serum lipid profile and associated hepatic dysfunction of male subjects with moderate P. falciparum infection. The patients were adults (n = 11) of 21 to 31 years old and adolescent (n = 10) of 11 to 20 years old. Measurement of parasite density of peripheral blood smear was by Giemsa stained techniques. Serum lipid profile, bilirubin concentration, aspartate and alanine transferases activities were measured by spectrophotometric methods. Serum lipid profile of non-malarious and malarious subjects within the age brackets of 11 to 20 years showed no significant difference (p > 0.05); with exception of serum low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) = 30.90 ± 7.10 mg/dl and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) = 31.10 ± 7.12 mg/dl (p < 0.05) of malarious subjects, which were below reference intervals. Specifically, for subjects within age brackets of 21 to 31 years, (aspartate aminotransferase, AST)non-malarious = 15.32 ± 1.06 U/L, whereas, [AST]malarious = 15.34 ± 0.95 U/L; p > 0.05. Also, (alanine transaminase, ALT)non-malarious = 5.13 ± 1.88 U/L and [ALT]malarious = 5.87 ± 3.00 U/L; p > 0.05, in subjects within age brackets of 11 to 20 years.Serum conjugated bilirubin (CB) concentrations of non-malarious and malarious subjects were within the range of 0.17 ± 0.06 to 0.41 ± 0.06 mg/dl; reference interval = 0.1 to 0.4 mg/dl; p > 0.05. Contrary, serum TB concentrations of corresponding malarious subjects gave values above the reference intervals (p < 0.05). The present study showed moderateP. falciparum infection caused profound changes in serum HDL-C and LDL-C levels that was not dependent on the age brackets of the individuals and did not cause profound hepatic dysfunction in the various subjects. Similarly, the two categories of malarious subjects did not present biliary obstruction but had jaundice by virtue of their raised serum levels of TB.


Key words: Serum, lipid profile, hepatic dysfunction, Plasmodium falciparum, malaria.