Malaria Parasite And It’s Effect To Human Health

Project and Seminar Material for Science Laboratory Technology SLT

Malaria Parasite And It’s Effect To Human Health


The study set out to determine malaria parasite and its effect on human health in some inhabitants of Aguowa community of Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, South-Eastern Nigeria. Adult mosquitoes were sampled indoors using the indoor Pyrethrum Knockdown Collection (PKC) method. Mosquito breeding sites were sampled for larvae. Venous blood samples were collected by thumb prick using blood lancet, for the identification of the various malaria parasites, the haemoglobin level and the Packed Cell Volume. A total of 273 out of the 945 pupils of the only primary school in the area were used for the study. The larvae of three species of mosquitoes were identified as Aedes aegypti (9.3%), Aedes albopictus (13.2%) and Culex quinquefasciatus (77.5%) Anopheles gambiae (1.1%), Aedes aegypti (4.6%) and Culex quinquefasciatus (94.5%) were sampled indoors using the Pyrethrum Knockdown Collection method. The prevalence of the various species of malaria parasites were recorded as follows: Plasmodium falciparum (50.6%), P.ovale (41.2%) and P.malariae (1.5%).

The overall prevalence of malaria parasitaemia in the community stood at 87.2%, while the prevalence with respect to sex were 93.7% for males and 82.7% for females. The prevalence for the various age groups were 4-6 years (88.7%), 7-9 years (93.3%), 10-12 years (89.6%) and 13-16 years (60.0%). The mean haemoglobin level of 10.2g/dl and Packed Cell Volume (PCV) of 31.0% were below the normal range of values. With a prevalence value of about 87.2%, it appears that malaria is a serious public health issue in Aguowa. There is need therefore to intensify efforts that will lead to reduction in the presence of malaria vectors, and control of the parasite in Aguowa community.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Malaria is an internationally devastating disease and continues to be one of the most devastating infectious diseases of our time, rivaling Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Disease Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and Tuberculosis as killer diseases in tropical and subtropical regions (WHO, 2005) Figure 1. Around 3.2 billion people are at risk of malarial attack each year, with around 500 million people proceeding to clinical disease and 2-3 million deaths occurring (Snow et al, 2005). Over 90% of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa (WHO, 2005). The burden of morbidity and mortality is biased towards young children, not yet immuned to clinical symptoms (Snow et al, 2005) and pregnant women, where parasites are sequestered in the placenta (Rowe and Keys, 2004).

In Africa, Anopheles gambiae and An. melas breeding in sunlit habitats and An. funestus in shades and An. phorensis in Upper Egypt and Sudan are responsible for the transmission of malaria parasite. In Nigeria, Anopheles gambiae complex, An. funestus and An. arabiensis have been incriminated for malaria transmission with major impact (Oguoma and Ikpeze, 2008) and Ekanem (1991).

The parasites that cause malarial disease are protozoan organisms that also infect many animal species including primates, lizards and birds. Four Plasmodium species are responsible for human malaria: Plasmodiumfalciparum; P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae. Plasmodium falciparum is the most virulent parasite, and is responsible for the majority of malaria – related mortality. It is found in all malaria endemic regions of the world, and is the most common human malaria parasite in Africa (WHO, 2005). Plasmodium vivax is rarely found in Africa, but it is the most common species outside Africa (Mendiset al, 2001; Carter and Mendis, 2002).

Anaemia is a fairly common problem encountered in malaria and it poses special problems in pregnancy and in children. The easiest measures of anaemia are the haemoglobin and Packed Cell Volume levels. The haematological parameters of the study community was assessed using haemoglobin and Packed Cell Volume.
Aguowa community is a slum with about 5000 inhabitants within Trans-Ekulu area of Enugu Metropolis, Enugu-East Local Government Area of SouthEastern Nigeria. It is inhabited by mostly farmers, artisans, students, traders and civil servants. There are no pipe borne water, health, facilities, schools, tarred roads, with poor sanitary conditions.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

A repeatedly report about malaria parasite infection has arise several years long ago and presently, causing regular fever, continuous chill, vomiting, headache, shortage of blood and other relative sickness, which forms the symptom of the infection. The estimate of tehinsident of malaria parasite, according to WHO (1986) shows that about 270 million new malaria infection occurs worldwide with the accompainiment of 110 and 2 million case of illness and death respectively. Where 25% of children’s death in Africa are attributed to malaria (WHO, 2016).

1.3 The Objectives Of The Study

The main objective of the study is to sample mosquito vectors of malaria, determine malaria parasite and its effect to human healthin some inhabitants of Aguowa community.

The following are the specific objectives of the study:

A. Entomological
  1. Larval survey of Anopheles mosquitoes.
  2. Indoor survey of adult Anopheles mosquitoes using the Pyrethrum Knockdown Collection (PKC) method.
  3. Dissection of adult Anopheles mosquitoes collected indoors to demonstrate the presence of sporozoites in the salivary glands or gametocytes in the stomach.
B. Parasitological
  1. To determine the prevalence of infecting Plasmodium species in the human community, through examination of blood films using both thick and thin smears
C. Haematology
  1. To estimate the Haemoglobin (Hb) level
  2. To determine the packed cell volume (PCV) of the inhabitants of Aguowa community

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study, if successfully completed is expected to provide information and data on:

  1. The malaria vectors’ composition in the Aguowa Community
  2. The prevalence of the various species of malaria parasites in some inhabitants of Aguowa community.
  3. The level of haemoglobin and the packed cell volume in the inhabitants of the community.

Chapter Six

Conclusion And Recommendation

6.1 Conclusion

This study which was conducted in Aguowa community of Enugu, South Eastern, Nigeria, showed the presence of female Anopheles gambiae mosquito, which is the established vector responsible for the transmission of malaria parasite in Nigeria.

The overall prevalence of malaria in Aguowa community stood at 87.2%. This high endemic nature of malaria in the community, in addition to the low levels of the haematological parameters demonstrated by this study may lead to a conclusion that malaria constitutes a major public health problem in Aguowa community.

Plasmodium falciparum, is the predominant species of malaria parasite identified in the study population. There is however no statistical difference (P<0.05), in the prevalence of the various species of malaria parasite with respect to sex and age.

It is of importance to note for purposes of surveillance and epidemiology, the isolation of Aedes aegypti indoors during the Pyrethrum knockdown collection of adult mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti, which is the vector for yellow fever being exophilic and exophagic species are usually not found indoors. This observation therefore becomes important especially, at outbreaks of yellow fever.

The low values obtained for Haemoglobin (Hb) and Packed Cell Volume (PCV) or haematocrit, showed that malaria plays an important role as a cause of anaemia in children. Anaemia is usually assessed by the haemoglobin level and the packed cell volume.

6.2 Recommendations

In view of the above research findings, the following recommendations are made:-

  1. The environmental conditions of the community should be improved, to remove the breeding habitats for mosquitoes such as stagnant water, drains, pot holes as well as mountains of rubbish in the area.
  2. Provision of insecticide treated mosquito nets, to act as vector control especially for pregnant mothers and children who are the vulnerable groups.
  3. Public health education, campaign for mothers and health care providers to create awareness that may lead to reduction of vectors of malaria and control of the disease.
  4. Adequate nutrition should be provided for the population. This will help in building up potential immunity against infections, and improving the nutritional status of the individual.
  5. Treatment of malaria should be readily available at affordable rates, for the people, with a good distribution network.

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