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J Parasitol. 2002 Feb;88(1):97-101.

Decreased hemoglobin concentrations, hyperparasitemia, and severe malaria are associated with increased Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte carriage.

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Unité INSERM 511, Immunobiologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire des Infections Parasitaires, Faculté de médecine Pitié-Salpétrière, Paris, France.


To determine factors influencing gametocyte carriage, a cross-sectional study was conducted among 512 patients admitted for Plasmodium falciparum malaria. After adjustments for potential confounders, hemoglobin concentrations were lower in gametocyte carriers 10.5 (+/-2.5) than in patients without gametocytes 12.5 (+/-2.3) (P < 0.0001). Hemoglobin concentrations were negatively correlated with peak gametocyte counts (Spearman's p = -0.37, P < 0.0001) and gametocyte carriage durations (Spearman's p = -(0.30, P < 0.0001). Adjustments for the duration of the malaria episode and other potential confounders did not alter the association (P < 0.0001). After adjustment for potential confounders, the median asexual parasitemia was higher in patients with gametocytes than in patients without gametocytes (P = 0.003). Severe malaria cases were more likely to have gametocytes (65%) than malaria with hyperparasitemia (38%) or mild malaria (31%) (P = 0.0001). These findings suggest that events surrounding anemia and tissue hypoxia stimulate Plasmodium falciparum gametocytogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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