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J Trop Pediatr. 1989 Feb;35(1):6-9. doi: 10.1093/tropej/35.1.6.

Phagocyte metabolic functions in iron deficiency anaemia of Indian children.


Nitroblue tetrazolium test (NBT) and bactericidal activity of polymorphonuclear leucocytes was studied in 40 patients with iron deficiency anaemia (aged 0-12 years). NBT test had a significant correlation with serum iron (P less than 0.001) in all cases of iron deficiency anemia. Haemoglobin levels less than 4 g/dl also correlated significantly with NBT score. Bactericidal activity with opsonin-coated Staphylococcus aureus was considerably decreased in severe anaemia, but no significant correlation was found with serum iron concentration (P less than 0.1). The phagocytic and bactericidal activity of polymorphonuclear leucocytes is dependent upon serum iron levels and is considerably reduced in iron deficient state in anaemic children.

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