African Journal of Clinical and Experimental Microbiology

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Altered protein and iron levels of patients with active tuberculosis in a Nigerian reference health facility

P.A. Akpan, I.M. Okafor, S Anakebe


Backgound: Tuberculosis as a state of chronic inflammation impacts on haematologic functions of the body.

Objectives: This study aimed at assessing iron parameters and serum protein levels of ninety tuberculosis patients aged fifteen to sixty years, enrolled from Dr Lawrence Henshaw Memorial Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria. Ninety apparently healthy individuals age and gendermatched served as control subjects.

Methods: Packed cell volume, haemoglobin concentration, serum iron, total iron binding capacity, total protein, albumin and serum ferritin were determined using standard methods. Transferrin saturation, globulin concentration and albumin-globulin ratio were derived by calculation. Data were analysed using student T-test on SPSS version 20 software. Statistical significance was set at P-value less than 0.05.

Results: Packed cell volume, haemoglobin concentration, serum iron, total iron binding capacity, transferrin saturation, albumin levels and albumin-globulin ratio of tuberculosis patients were found to be significantly lower while serum ferritin and globulin were significantly increased (p<0.05) as compared with control values. Serum ferritin improved towards control values as anti-tuberculosis therapy progressed.

Conclusion: A reduction in haemoglobin, serum iron, total iron binding capacity and transferrin saturation and increase in serum ferritin as well as altered serum protein levels, occur in tuberculosis infection.

Keywords: Tuberculosis, iron, serum protein
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