TRACE ELEMENTS (ANTIOXIDANTS) AND MALARIA PARASITE DENSITY IN PREGNANT WOMEN ATTENDING CLINIC AT NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL NNEWI, SOUTH EAST NIGERIA

Author: Ozougwu Chukwuemeka Paul
Department: Medical Laboratory
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Malaria during pregnancy continues to be a major health problem in endemic countries with clinical consequences including death of both mother and child and attendant derangement in trace elements. This study is aimed at evaluating the relationship between trace element antioxidants and malaria density in pregnant women with malaria. The trace elements are selenium, copper, zinc, manganese and micronutrient iron. The patients are pregnant women attending ante natal clinic of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra, South East, Nigeria. The controls are pregnant women without malaria, non-pregnant women with malaria and non-pregnant women without malaria. The trace elements were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry while the malaria density was determined by counting the parasites against white cells. From results, copper showed a significant increase in pregnant women with malaria 13.63±6.22μmol/L compared to pregnant women without malaria 12.49±3.62μmol/L, non-pregnant women with malaria 7.29±2.83μmol/L and non-pregnant women without malaria 5.26±1.41μmol/L (F=102.6; p<0.05). Iron also showed
a significant increase in pregnant women with malaria 14.50±7.984μmol/L compared to pregnant women without malaria 14.30±8.32μmol/L, non-pregnant women with malaria 10.16±2.59μmol/L and non-pregnant women without malaria 10.17±5.09μmol/L (F =15.45; p0.05). Zinc showed a significant decrease in pregnant women with malaria 7.81±4.28μmol/L (p<0.05) compared to pregnant women without malaria 8.68±2.25μmol/L, non-pregnant women with malaria 9.10±3.36μmol/L and non-pregnant women without malaria 10.48±4.08μmol/L ((F=11.01; p<0.05). Also selenium showed a significant decrease in pregnant women with malaria 55.68±16.69μg/L (p<0.05) compared to non-pregnant women without malaria 64.83±13.27μg/L and a significant increase compared to pregnant women without malaria 32.94±14.41μg/L and non-pregnant women with malaria 36.44±9.59μg/L ((F=42.91; p<0.05). Selenium has a weak positive correlation with parasite density (r=0.27; p=0.004). Iron has a moderate positive correlation with parasite density (r=0.31; p=0.002).Copper has a moderate negative correlation with parasite density (r=0.32; p=0.003).Zinc has a strong negative correlation with parasite density (r=0.41; p=0.001). Manganese also has a strong negative correlation with parasite density (r= 0.48; p=0.001).

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