Confounding influences of malnutrition and Plasmodium falciparum and Schistosoma haematobium infections on haematological parameters in school children in Muyuka, Cameroon
Irene Ule Ngole Sumbele, Ofon Vitalis Otia, Lorraine Francis, Orelien Sylvain Mtopi Bopda, Calvin Bisong Ebai, Teh Rene Ning, Helen Kuo Kuo Kimbi, Theresa Nkuo-Akenji
BMC Infectious Diseases
Background School-aged children (SAC) are a high-risk demographic group for infectious diseases and malnutrition. The objective of this study was to assess the burden and the effect of Plasmodium falciparum and Schistosoma haematobium infections on the haematological indices in SAC and the confounding influence of malnutrition on the outcomes. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted in SAC 4–14 years old living in Ikata, Bafia and Mile 14-Likoko in Muyuka, Cameroon. Anthropometric
... res of malnutrition were obtained and blood samples collected were used for detection of malaria parasites by Giemsa-stained blood films using light microscopy and complete blood count analysis using an automated haematology analyser. Urine samples collected were used to detect micro haematuria with the aid of reagent strips and the eggs of S. haematobium by urine filtration technique. Multiple linear regression model was used to examine influence of independent variables on haematological parameters. Results Out of the 606 SAC examined, the prevalence of single infections with Plasmodium or S. haematobium and co-infection with both parasites was 16.2, 16.3 and 8.3%, respectively. Overall, malaria parasite (MP), urogenital schistosomiasis, malnutrition, anaemia, haematuria, microcytosis and thrombocytopenia was prevalent in 24.4, 24.6, 25.9, 74.4, 12.2, 45.4 and 11.1% of SAC, respectively. A significant linear decline (P = 0.023) in prevalence of P. falciparum infection with the severity of stunting was observed. Factors that significantly influenced haematological parameters included haemoglobin: age, stunting and MP; haematocrit: age and MP; white blood cell count: age; red blood cell count; age and MP; lymphocyte counts: stunting; mean cell volume: age; mean cell haemoglobin: age and stunting; mean cell haemoglobin concentration: sex, stunting and red cell distribution width-coefficient of variation: sex, age and stunting. Conclusions Malnutrition, Plasmodium and S. haematobium infections are common while anaemia is a severe public health problem in Muyuka, Cameroon. The interaction between haematological parameters with malaria parasites as well as linear growth index was negative and other interactions indicate systemic inflammation. While findings provide contextual intervention targets to ensure the judicious use of the limited resources, there is need for regular monitoring and proper treatment to improve the health of the underserved population.