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J Parasitol. 2006 Dec;92(6):1191-5.

Malaria and helminth co-infection in children living in a malaria endemic setting of mount Cameroon and predictors of anemia.

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Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, South West Province, Cameroon.


A study was carried out with 425 children aged 0-14 yr residing in Bolifamba, Cameroon, to investigate the effect of Plasmodium falciparum malaria and intestinal helminth coinfection on anemia and to identify significant predictors of anemia in the community. Blood was collected by finger prick to determine malaria parasitemia and packed cell volume (PCV). The Kato-Katz technique was used to assess the prevalence and egg load of intestinal helminths. The prevalence of P. falciparum malaria, intestinal helminth infections, and coinfection was 64.2%, 38.3%, and 24.7%, respectively. Coinfections in which heavy helminth loads were detected had corresponding high mean P. falciparum parasite loads >5,000/microl compared with coinfections involving light helminth burden. The overall prevalence of anemia was 30.8%. Anemia prevalence increased significantly with P. falciparum parasite load >5,000/microl compared with lower densities (chi2 = 6.734, P = 0.034). Anemia prevalence was significantly higher in febrile children compared with nonfebrile children (chi2 = 6.041, P = 0.014). Children infected exclusively with P. falciparum recorded the highest prevalence of anemia compared with uninfected children, those with coinfections, and those harboring only helminths. This difference in prevalence was significant (chi2 = 6.734, P = 0.031). Multiple regression analysis exposed fever (P > 0.001) and age (P = 0.004) as significant predictors of anemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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