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HIV infection has a profound effect on hematological factors but not on electrolyte profile of Malawian adults presenting with uncomplicated malaria and severe malaria

Authors Munyenyembe AU, Gausi K, Nyirenda TS, Hiestand J, Mallewa J, Mandala WL

Received 2 May 2018

Accepted for publication 6 July 2018

Published 4 October 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 153—162

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JBM.S172869

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Martin Bluth


Alinane U Munyenyembe,1 Kamunkhwala Gausi,1 Tonney S Nyirenda,2 Jasmin Hiestand,3 Jane Mallewa,3 Wilson L Mandala1,4

1Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust, Malaria Immunology Department, Blantyre, Malawi; 2Pathology Department, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi; 3Medicine Department, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi; 4Academy of Medical Sciences, Biological Sciences Department, Malawi University of Science & Technology, Thyolo, Malawi

Aim: Although malaria and HIV infections independently affect the electrolyte and hematologic profiles, little is known of how these profiles are affected in individuals coinfected with malaria and HIV. We therefore conducted this study to investigate the electrolyte and hematologic profiles of Malawian adults presenting with either uncomplicated malaria (UM), severe malaria (SM), and those presenting with HIV and UM or HIV and SM.
Methods: Study participants were recruited at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, and malaria infection was confirmed by rapid diagnostic test and malaria slides, and full blood count, HIV, and wet chemistries were analyzed.
Results: Sodium, potassium, calcium, and chloride levels of all 4 study groups were similar to those of healthy controls. Both HIV-infected groups (UM and SM) had lower red blood cell counts and lower hemoglobin concentration than the reference range. Platelet counts were lower in both HIV-uninfected SM cases (64×109/L) and in the HIV-infected SM cases (66×109/L) compared to the reference range (115–290×109/L). HIV– UM cases had higher proportion and absolute counts of neutrophils and white blood cell counts compared to the HIV+ UM cases.
Conclusion: HIV infection did not affect the electrolyte profile of Malawian adults presenting with UM or SM but had an effect on red blood cells, Hb concentration, neutrophils, and platelet counts.

Keywords: Plasmodium falciparum malaria, HIV infection, electrolytes, hematologic values, HIV-malaria co-infection, Malawian Adults

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