Malaria has been known to alter hematological and biochemical parameters during pregnancy and is one of the causes of anemia in pregnancy. In a cross sectional study, changes in hematological and selected biochemical parameters were investigated in pregnant malarial patients (17) compared with 20 healthy pregnant non-malarial women (controls). Assay for transferrin (TF), total iron binding capacity (TIBC), serum iron, protein, cholesterol and triglyceride were evaluated on sera while hemoglobin concentration, total white blood cell count were carried out on whole blood using standard laboratory methods and enzyme colorimetric kits. The mean values of serum transferrin (4.31 ± 0.54 g/l), TIBC 112.45 ± 14.22 µmol/L serum iron 29.64 ± 2.78 µmol/L in pregnant malaria parasitaemic group were significantly (p < 0.01) higher than the respective values of 3.13 ± 0.45 g/l, 81.70 ± 11.70 µmol/L and 21.36 ± 2.41 µmol/L in the control. Total serum cholesterol (4.28 ± 1.1 mmol/L) and triglycerides (1.56 ± 0.14 mmol/L) were significantly (p < 0.01) elevated in the pregnant malarial parasitaemic group compared with the control values of 2.9 5 ± 0.71 and 1.17 ± 0.28 mmol/L, respectively. The white blood cell (WBC) count did not show any significant change and there were no changes in hemoglobin, transferrin saturation as well as serum protein in pregnant-malaria group compared with the control. The results suggest that malaria may aggravate the hypertransferinaemia and hyperlipidemia syndrome of human pregnancy.
Key words: Pregnancy, malaria, hematological indices, transferrin, cholesterol.
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