Prevalence of malaria and typhoid co-infections in University of Nigeria, Nsukka District of Enugu State, Nigeria
Mixed infection of malaria caused by Plasmodium species and typhoid fever caused by Salmonella species is often observed in areas where malaria is endemic, and the infection with Salmonella species has been considered by some medical and non-medical personnels to be associated with the malaria parasite infection. Based on this reason, many medical personnel treat both malaria and typhoid simultaneously in every case of suspected Salmonella infection and vice versa. In this study, the association between malaria and typhoid infections was investigated. Twenty five malaria patients were screened for antibody against Salmonella species using widal test. The stool and blood samples of the patients were also screened for possible isolation of Salmonella species. Of the 25 subjects, 23 (92%) had positive antibody titre (≥1/80) for Salmonella paratyphi A, 11 (44%) were positive for S. paratyphi B, 8 (32%) were positive for S. paratyphi C, while 5 (20%) were positive for Salmonella typhi. Salmonella species were isolated from stool samples of 13 subjects, but only 3 subjects had Salmonella species in their blood samples. The results indicated that there is no relationship between malaria and Salmonella infection, but there was a significant (p < 0.01) association between S. typhi, S. paratyphi B and S. paratyphi C infections. The results also showed a significant (p < 0.05) relationship between Salmonella in stool and its appearance in blood, suggesting that the presence of Salmonella in blood is indicative of its presence in stool.
Key words: Plasmodium, Salmonella, typhoid fever, malaria, co-infection.