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

J Parasitol. 2002 Feb;88(1):97-101. doi: 10.1645/0022-3395(2002)088[0097:DHCHAS]2.0.CO;2.

Abstract

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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Carrier State / parasitology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum / blood
  • Malaria, Falciparum / parasitology
  • Malaria, Falciparum / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parasitemia / parasitology*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / isolation & purification*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / physiology
  • Severity of Illness Index

Substances

  • Hemoglobins