Levels of iron and magnesium in serum of plasmodium falciparum malarial infected children in Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria


Onyesom, Innocent, Osioma Ejovi, Edah, Omosco Charles

P. falciparum invasion and destruction of red blood cells modify mineral contents in serum of infected individuals and this may contribute to the disease mortality especially among children. In this study therefore, the amount of iron, Fe and magnesium, Mg, in serum of P. falciparum infected children were estimated to provide baseline information in Abraka, a university community in Delta state, Nigeria. Twenty five P. falciparum infected children and twenty five uninfected children in apparent good health were screened and selected after obtaining informed consent from their parents. Serum Mg and Fe levels were estimated using established procedures and standard methods. Results shows that P. falciparum malarial infection significantly (p<0.05) reduced Mg (1.18±0.42 mEq/L) and Fe (0.46±0.15 mg/L) concentrations in a trend that depends on the malarial severity, when compared with values (Mg= 2.10+0.56 mEq/L; Fe= 1.31±0.37 mg/L) obtained from the uninfected children. Thus, P. falciparum malarial infection reduces Mg and Fe concentrations and this alter Fe and Mg – dependent metabolic and cellular activities to the detriment of the infected patient. Therefore, the experimental and clinical outcome of including Mg and Fe supplements to the anti malarial chemotherapeutic regimen should be validated in further studies