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Antioxidant status and acute malaria in children in Kampala, Uganda.

Metzger A; Mukasa G; Shankar AH; Ndeezi G; Melikian G; Semba RD
Am J Trop Med Hyg 2001 Aug;65(2):115-9

Although antioxidant status has been implicated in the pathogenesis of malaria, these factors need further characterization. A longitudinal study was conducted involving 273 children 1-10 years of age with acute, uncomplicated malaria in Kampala, Uganda. Plasma vitamin A, carotenoids, and vitamin E were measured at enrollment and on day 7. Malaria parasitemia was measured at enrollment, on day 3, and on day 7. Malaria parasitemia had completely cleared in 57.1% and 85.3% of children by day 3 and day 7, respectively. Plasma vitamin A, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein/zeaxanthin, and vitamin E were depressed at enrollment and increased by day 7. Multivariate analyses showed that higher plasma lycopene concentrations at enrollment were associated with clearance of parasitemia between enrollment and day 3 (odds ratio = 1.46, 95% confidence interval = 1.07-2.06, per 0.10 micromol/L of lycopene). This study suggests that children with acute malaria have depressed plasma concentrations of antioxidants, and that higher plasma lycopene is associated with more rapid clearance of malaria parasitemia.

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