Platelet count and platelet indices of symptomatic and asymptomatic children infected by malaria in Calabar Metropolis, Nigeria
Keywords:Symptomatic malaria, Platelet count, Platelet indices, Calabar
Background: Malaria infection has been reported to be a major problem affecting developing countries. This study aimed at the effect of malaria parasite infection on platelets count, and platelet indices; mean platelet volume (MPV), platelets distribution width (PDW) and plateletcrit (PCT) among symptomatic subjects.
Methods: A case-control study design with a total of 112 subjects (males and females) comprising of 58 symptomatic and 54 asymptomatic children infected by malaria, age range of 0-15 years from the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital were enrolled. Thick and thin film method was used to ascertain malaria parasite density.
Results: The mean values of the symptomatic malaria subjects were found to be significantly reduced in PCT, PDW and PC (0.16±0.04, 15.84±0.89 and 181.45±43.62) and significant high in MPV and MPD (9.36±1.05 and (418.80±554.40) against that of asymptomatic malaria subject (p˂0.05). The mean MPV was significantly increased in 6-10 and 11-15 years (9.35±0.90 and 9.81±1.16) when compared with 0-5 years (8.60±0.62) age range symptomatic malaria subject groups while mean PC was significantly decrease in 6-10 and 11-15 years (172.14±35.52 and 181.55±48.49) when compared to 0-5 years (204.36±36.92) age range groups. A moderate positive significant correlation between PCT versus MPV (r=0.327) while PC versus PCT shows a strong (r=0.895) positive significant correlation (p˂0.05).
Conclusions: There is significant increase MPD and MPV, decrease PC, PCT and PDW in the symptomatic group compared to the asymptomatic. It is important that platelet indices and platelet count should be included as a routine screening investigation to detect malaria parasite infection and treated accordingly.
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