Uzuegbu U. E.
Falciparum malarial infection is associated with significant destruction of erythrocytes. This leads to the release of toxic products, including oxidant compounds, yet information on the influence of malarial severity on vitamin c level has remained scarce in our society. The plasma concentration of the antioxidant, ascorbic acid, was measured in 80 patients with varying degrees of malarial parasitaemia and presenting with acute falciparum malarial infection using standard procedure. Twenty (20) healthy individuals matched in age and sex was included as control. Results show that overall falciparum malarial infection reduced plasma vitamin c concentration. However, severe falciparum malarial infection significantly reduced (P < 0.05) plasma vitamin c level when compared with either mild or moderate infection, irrespective of sex and age, but effects were more marked among the infected children. Supplementation should be given and biochemical effects assessed in order to modify the chemotherapeutic regimen for the treatment of falciparum malarial infection.
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