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Malaria parasite density and plasma apolipoprotein A1 in symptomatic and asymptomatic infections in Nigerian children

1 Department of Chemical Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Virology, College of Medicine, University of Ibada , Ibadan, Nigeria
3 Institute of Child Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan , Ibadan, Nigeria
4 Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Bose E Orimadegun,
Department of Chemical Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.318309

Background & objectives : Alterations in plasma apolipoproteins in individuals with malaria infection and their potential roles in the pathogenesis are known but the link between the malaria parasite density and apolipoprotein A1 (apo-A1) level is insufficiently understood. This study was conducted to determine whether the plasma apo-A1 level is influenced by the degree of parasitaemia in malaria infections. Methods: In a case-control study, a convenient sample of children aged 2-10 years with uncomplicated malaria cases (UMC), asymptomatic parasitaemia cases (APC) and healthy children without parasitaemia (HCP) was recruited. The cases consisted of 61 UMC and 21 APC, while the controls consisted of 24 HCP. Levels of apo-A1 was determined using immunoturbidimetric assay and compared among the different degrees of parasite density. Results: Of the 82 participants with parasitaemia, density was ≤1,000/μL in 12, 1,001-10,000/μL in 21 and >10,000/μL in 49 children. There was significant difference among the mean values of apolipoprotein A1 of the three groups, viz: UMC [91.4 (95% CI: 81.3, 101.5) mg/dL], APC [67.0 (95% CI: 48.9, 84.9) mg/dL] and HCP [99.0 (95% CI: 76.6, 121.3) mg/dL], p=0.029. Post-hoc analysis revealed that the mean plasma level of apo-A1 in HCP was significantly higher than APC by 32.0±12.4 mg/dL and UMC by 7.5±4.2 mg/dL. However, there were no differences in the mean apolipoprotein A1 levels among the three groups of parasite density. Interpretation & conclusion: The presence of parasitaemia causes a remarkable reduction in apolipoprotein A1 level that was not influenced by the degree of parasitaemia.

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