African Journal of Infectious Diseases

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register

Peripheral parasitaemia and its association with plasma cytokines levels in malaria-infected pregnant women in Aba, Abia state, Nigeria

M.O. Ifeanyichukwu, O.C. Okamgba, G.I. Amilo, E.A. Nwokorie


Background: Cytokines in pregnant female may not be a normal phenomenon as malarial infection is often associated with strong CD4+ cell activation and up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines. We investigated the relationship between peripheral parasitaemia and plasma levels of cytokines among malaria infected pregnant women in Aba, Abia State, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A total of 206 non-HIV positive asymptomatic malaria parasitaemic (n=144) and non-parasitaemic (n=62) pregnant women were recruited for this study alongside 80 non-pregnant women who served as positive (n=40) and negative (n=40) controls. Blood samples were aseptically collected from each subject and tested for HIV and malaria parasites using standard methods. Also, plasma levels of cytokines were measured using Th1/Th2 human cytokine ELISA kits (Abcam, UK). Analysis of Variance and Student’s t-test were used for Comparison of groups while Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient was used for tests of association.
Results: The results revealed a mean parasite density of 685.56±484.55 parasites/μl of blood. Malaria infected pregnant subjects showed significantly higher levels of IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-4, IL-6 and IL-10 when compared with their non-infected counterparts (P< 0.05). The cytokines evaluated were higher in moderate parasitaemia than mild parasitaemia. Positive correlation existed between peripheral parasite density (PPD) and IL-4 (r= 0.24, P=0.004), PPD and IL-6 (r = 0.35, P = 0.001) as well as PPD and IL- 10 (r = 0.29, P = 0.001).
Conclusion: This study showed that increase in peripheral parasitaemia increased levels of some plasma cytokines (IL-4, IL-6 and IL-10) but not IFN-γ and TNF-α in the malaria infected pregnant women studied.

Keywords: Malaria, pregnancy, cytokines, woman, association
AJOL African Journals Online