Background: Parasitic infections are associated with significant morbidity and mortality especially in school-aged children. Presently, there is little information on the effects of parasitic infections on haemocytometric profile and liver function in school-aged children in Kwara State, Nigeria. This study was therefore, designed to determine the haemocytometric profile, activities of selected liver enzymes and total protein levels in pupils infected with parasites in selected areas of Kwara State.
Materials and Methods: A total of 638 pupils, aged 5 – 13 years, were enrolled into this study. Stool, urine, and blood samples were appropriately collected and examined for parasites using the Concentration techniques, Giemsa staining, and microscopy. Haemocytometric profile, activities of selected liver enzymes and plasma levels of total protein were determined using appropriate methods.
Results: One hundred and fourteen (19.6%) pupils were infected with parasites. There were significantly higher counts of neutrophil, monocyte and eosinophil in pupils infected with parasites than the controls. Similarly, there were significantly higher plasma activities of alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase and total protein in pupils infected with parasites than the controls. In contrast, there were significantly lower platelets count, haemoglobin concentration and haematocrit in pupils infected with parasites than the controls.
Conclusion: Pupils infected with parasites in Kwara State exhibited altered haemocytometric profile and liver function. Routine screening for parasitic infections is thus suggested in school-aged children in Kwara State.
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