Determination of some haematological parameters in malaria infected subjects in Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) Sokoto, Nigeria
Since malaria parasites are able to attach to receptors on the red blood cell surface, it is expected that malaria parasites may have effect on some haematological parameters. Haematological parameters are often needed to assist in the management of malaria infection. The aim of this study is to assess the effects of malaria parasites on some haematological parameters in Sokoto Nigeria. To investigate the effects of malaria infection on red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, 100 malaria positive adults (15-60 years) attending Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria were enrolled into the study for a period of seven months; April through October 2009. Malaria parasitaemia was determined microscopically by stained thick film, packed cell volume (PCV) by microhaematocrit method, while total white blood cell count (TWBC) and platelet count (PLC) by manual methods. The total of 100 malaria infected patients and 50 apparently healthy malaria non-infected students were compared against PCV, TWBC and PLC values using student’s t-test. The results of PCV and PLC showed statistically significant decrease among malaria infected patients (p<0.05) while for TWBC there was statistically significant increase (p<0.05) among 18% of malaria infected subjects. When PCV, TWBC and PLC values of males and females infected with malaria parasite were compared, the PCV value showed statistically significant decrease in females (p<0.05), while TWBC and PLC values showed no statistically significant difference between males and females (p>0.05). These findings indicate that malaria infection has an impact on some haematological parameters, therefore, malaria infection in this community contributes to the severity of anaemia and thrombocytopenia.
Key words: Malaria infection, packed cell volume (PCV), total white blood cell count (TWBC), platelet count (PLC), anaemia.