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Profiles of hematological parameters in Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria patients attending Tercha General Hospital, Dawuro Zone, South Ethiopia

Authors Awoke N, Arota A

Received 19 August 2018

Accepted for publication 18 January 2019

Published 5 March 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 521—527


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Joachim Wink

Nefsu Awoke,1 Amsalu Arota2

1Department of Nursing, College of Health Science and Medicine, Wolaita Sodo University, Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia; 2School of Medicine, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Health Science and Medicine, Wolaita Sodo University, Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia

Background: Malaria is a major health problem in the tropics, with 300–500 million cases and 1.1–2.7 million deaths occurring annually. The hematological alterations associated with malaria infection may vary depending on: level of malaria endemicity, background hemoglobinopathy, malaria immunity, host genetic factors, and parasite strain variations.
Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the profiles of hematologic parameters in Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria infections at Tercha General Hospital, Dawuro Zone, South Ethiopia.
Methodology: A total of 340 study participants were included in the study, out of which 170 were malaria cases, and the remaining 170 were malaria negatives. An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted. Malaria diagnosis was based on thick and thin blood films microscopy. Hematological parameters were determined by using an automated, CELL-DYN 1800 hematology analyzer. Malaria parasite density was determined by counting the asexual parasites against 200 WBCs, and then calculated by using the standard formula. The diagnostic accuracy of hematological parameters was measured by computing sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios.
Results: The mean values of Hgb, Hct, platelet, WBC, RBC, and lymphocyte were significantly lower in malaria patients than malaria negatives. The prevalence of thrombocytopenia and anemia in malaria patients was 84% and 67%, respectively. There was an inverse correlation between P. falciparum and P. vivax parasite density and lymphocyte count, as well as platelet count.
Conclusion and recommendation: Thrombocytopenia and anemia were the two common hematological abnormalities observed in malaria cases. The platelet count during malaria infection was inversely correlated with the asexual stage parasite density. Patients with acute febrile illness having thrombocytopenia should alert the treating physician about the possibility of malaria infection. Malaria patients should be checked for the presence of hematological abnormalities such as anemia and have to be managed for those abnormalities.

Keywords: malaria, P. falciparum, P. vivax, hematological parameters, Dawro, anemia, thrombocytopenia, Tercha

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