African Journal of Applied Zoology and Environmental Biology

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Falciparum malaria and their susceptibility to genetic markers among pregnant women in Uyo, South Eastern Nigeria

K N Opara, E S Ibanga, N B Wali, L P Usip


There have been conflicting reports about the relationship between ABO blood groups, haemoglobin levels, haemoglobin genotypes and their susceptibility to falciparium malaria. A cross-sectional study of Plasmodium falciparium malaria in pregnant women in Uyo, South Eastern Nigeria was carried out to determine if there was any association between the disease and these genetic markers. Of the 540 women examined, 400 were pregnant, while 140 were non-pregnant healthy women (control). 164 (41.0%) of the pregnant women were positive for P. falciparum parasite. There was a significance difference (P<0.05) between the prevalence of malaria in the pregnant women and their controls. There was severe anaemia as revealed by the mean haemoglobin levels among the parasitaemic (9.80g/dl ± 2.11); a parasitaemic (11.40g/dl ± 1.33) pregnant women and control (12.45g/dl ± 1.82). It was statistically significant at P<0.05. There was no significant difference (P>0.001) in the frequency of the ABO antigens between the pregnant women with malaria and the expected. Parasitaemic pregnant women with sickle cell trait (Hb AS) had 39.8% prevalence rate, which was lower than 41.9% observed in those with normal haemoglobin (Hb AA), it was not significant (P>0.05). The need for a more practical approach in the treatment of falciparum malaria in pregnant women with different genetic markers is discussed.

AJAZEB Vol. 6 2004: pp. 56-60
AJOL African Journals Online