oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Preliminary investigation of the relationship between malaria, anaemia, parasite density, malaria specific antibody and syphilis reactivity in Ndola Central Hospital - Zambia

Volume 31, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



A total of 165 adult Zambians aged between 12 and 65 years with symptoms suggestive of acute malarial infection were studied. Sixty-two (37 .5%) were blood slide positive malaria. There were no significant differences in haemoglobin level between blood slide positive and blood slide negative individuals. Although the male population studied had significantly higher haemoglobin than the rural population of Kampumbu, this was significantly lower than the value for the normal urban blood donor population of Ndola. The female patients whether blood slide positive or negative had significantly lower haemoglobin than their male counterparts but their haemoglobin values did not differ significantly from the Kampumbu rural female values. Using 12G/dl to designate significant anaemia, 25% and 27% of the blood slide positive and negative patients respectively were anaemic. Blood slide positive individuals had significantly higher malaria antibody titre as measured by the indirect immunofluorescent (IFA) test than blood slide negative patients. There was concordance between parasitological and IFA positivity. However, there was no correlation between parasite density, anaemia or specific antibody titre. At presentation, about 20% of patients had taken either antimalarials or some other drugs containing organic bases as measured by the Dill-Glazko eosin colour urine test. There was a significant association between a positive Dill-Glazko test and a negative blood slide for malaria. Treponema pallidum haemagglutination test was positive in 19% of 117 patients. Our observations do not confirm the putative cross reactivity between Plasmodium and Treponema species, as there was no significant differences in reactivity between those who were positive or negative for malaria. This may be due to wide-spread exposure to Treponemal antigens in the population studied.

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