Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-30

Standard white blood cell count for malaria density estimation: A need for review?

1 Department of Biological Science, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatics, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
3 Department of Zoology, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria
4 Department of Medical Microbiology, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
5 Department Laboratory, Barkin Ladi General Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Innocent C Omalu
Department of Biological Science, Federal University of Technology, Minna
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.43075

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To compare the actual white blood cell (WBC) counts, used to calculate malaria parasite densities against the standard WBC counts of 8000/l. The WBC counts of 111 Plasmodium falciparum -infected children in north central Nigeria, Aged 1-4 (<5) and 5-14 (>5) years were estimated in a cross-sectional study. These gave average values of 7487/l and 5985/l against the assumed standard count of 8000/l. A comparison of blood samples grouped into those with WBC counts of 8000/l (3.95% and 8.57%), those below (57.89% and 82.86%) and above (38.16% and 8.57%) showed a significantly higher number in the group below the standard value for the two age groups (X2, df = 3, P > 0.05). This paper draws attention to the disparity between the assumed standard WBC counts and the real values encountered among Nigerian children and proposes a review for achieving more accurate malaria parasite density estimation among other reasons. To best of our knowledge, the present study is the first such report from north central Nigeria.

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