Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences

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Effect of road transport stress on Erthrocyte Osmotic Fragility (EOF) of healthy young adult Nigerians during the harmattan season

KV Olorunshola, KO Eze, LN Achie


Summary: Road transportation and harmattan season have been reported to be stressful to live stock species. This study was conducted with the aim of investigating the effect of two and half hours of road transportation on the erythrocyte osmotic fragility of 23 healthy young adults Nigerians (15 males and 8 females) during the harmattan season. After an overnight fast, venous blood was collected from each subject for the determination of serum cortisol, glucose concentration and erythrocyte osmotic fragility. The subjects were then transported at a speed of 65 – 75Km/h covering a distance of 180km. Thereafter venous blood was again collected (within 10 minutes) for the determination of serum cortisol concentration, glucose concentration and erythrocyte osmotic fragility using standard methods. There was a statistically significant decrease (P < 0.05) in percent  haemolysis recorded at Nacl concentration of 0.50% after transportation. There was also significant decrease (P < 0.001) in percent haemolysis at Nacl concentration of 0.60 and 0.70% in the male subject after road transportation as compared to values obtained before transportation. There was a statically significant difference (P < 0.05) between the serum concentrations of cortisols in the subjects before and after road transportation. The results of this study indicated that road transportation was stressful to the subjects and measurement of erythrocyte osmotic fragility (EOF) could be used as a biomarker of stress in humans.

Keywords: Road transport, Stress, Harmattan, Season, Erythrocyte Osmotic Fragility, Humans, Zaria, Northern Nigeria

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