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Malaria N° 10 - Subject N° 6

BLOOD PARASITE INFECTIONS IN PREGNANCY IN NORTHERN NIGERIA: Changes in Haematological Parameters and Serum Proteins
O.T. Njajou and D.D. Duhlinska

Pregnancy is a period of serious stress and changes. It has been reported by Tietz that during normal pregnancy the composition of serum proteins is greatly altered. There is a change in the albumin/globulin ratio with an increase in albumin relative to globulin. Also Onwukeme and Uguru reported significant changes in cellular haematological parameters during the course of normal pregnancy. Dennis et al reported a significant increase in total leucocytes and lymphocytes in the course of Loa loa infection and Ezeoke et al showed that parasitized pregnant women had lower haemoglobin (Hb) values than non-parasitized ones and demonstrated a statically significant difference (p<0.01) in their Hb values. Earlier, Sharper and Levis reported significant changes in haematological parameters with a reversal of neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio in tropical Africa mainly due to environmental parasitic infections. Egwunyenga et al reported that parasitaemic pregnant women had significantly lower haemoglobin values, especially among primigravids in some parts of Nigeria.

The alpha, beta, gama globulins and other serum proteins are found altered during induced malaria but these same parameters are also changed in acute and chronic inflammation and this may explain why most workers prefer to measure the immunoglobulins.

The main purpose of this study was to assess the changes in haematological parameters (total WBC, differential WBC, PCV and Hb) and serum proteins (alpha, beta, gama globulins, albumin and total protein) in infected women during pregnancy.

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