Open Access Original Research Article

Subclinical Malaria and Reticulocyte Count in Apparently Healthy Female Undergraduate Students in Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Evelyn Mgbeoma Eze, Serekara Gideon Christian, Chialuka Chidubem Akuta

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2019/v36i330142

Aims: The study was aimed at determining subclinical malaria and estimating reticulocyte count in apparently healthy female undergraduate students of Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.

Study Design:  This is a non-randomized, comparative case-control study.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted using female students residing at the hostels of Rivers State University, Port Harcourt. Analysis was carried out at the Haematology Laboratory, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, between July and August, 2018.

Methodology: For the subjects used in this study, a total of 32 students (32%) that were diagnosed of having Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection were used as test subjects, while a total of 68 students (68%) that were diagnosed to be Plasmodium falciparum negative, and without malaria, were used as control. Thick and thin blood films examination using Giemsa staining technique was used to detect and calculate the malaria parasite density while a thin blood film examination using new methylene blue staining technique was used to evaluate the reticulocyte count in the blood.

Results: The reticulocyte count of test subjects (subjects with Plasmodium falciparum malaria) was 0.15 ± 0.04% and that of control subjects (subjects without any malaria parasite) was 0.31 ± 0.08%. The test subjects had significantly lower reticulocyte count (p ˂ 0.0001) than the control subjects. The age range “15-19” years had the highest malaria parasite density of 0.52 ± 0.18%, while “25-29” years had the least parasite density of 0.33 ± 0.24. There was no statistical variation in malaria parasite density according to age ranges (p = 0.13; p ˃ 0.05). However, the age range of “15-19” years had the lowest reticulocyte count as most of the female students within this age group were diagnosed to have been infected with malaria parasite.

Conclusion: This study revealed that reticulocyte counts of malaria (Plasmodium falciparum) infected individuals decreased when compared to those without malaria parasite and this decrease was statistically significant. There was no statistical significant variation in malaria parasite density irrespective of age ranges. Prophylaxis for malaria in such settings would be an efficient means of preventing infectious reservoirs and higher rates of subclinical malaria infection.

Open Access Original Research Article

Prevalence of Hepatitis B and C Virus Infection among Students of a Private Tertiary Institution in South-Western Nigeria

Seyi Samson Enitan, Olayimika Kehinde Adebola, Esther Ngozi Adejumo, Grace Elejo Itodo, Emmanuel Ileoma, Adeolu Sunday Oluremi, Damilola Omotola

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 1-15
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2019/v36i330144

Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major health problem and account for a substantial proportion of liver diseases worldwide.

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence rate of Hepatitis B and C virus infection among undergraduate students of Babcock University.

Methodology: The blood samples of 200 participants (96 males and 104 females) were randomly collected and screened using rapid serological methods. HBV markers were determined using a HBV 5 in 1 Panel cassette (Innovita Biological Technology Co., Ltd., China); while antibody to HCV was detected using anti-HCV test strip (Blue Cross Bio-Medical Co., Ltd., China). The demographic and clinical information of the participants were collected using structured questionnaires.

Results: Out of the 200 participants screened, 3 (1.5%) were positive for HBsAg, 10 (5.0%) were positive for HBsAb, 3 (1.5%) were positive for HBcAb, 2 (1.0%) were positive for HBeAb and none (0%) was positive for HBeAg. 2 (2.1%) of the 96 males screened were positive for HBsAg, while only one (1%) out of the 104 females screened was positive for HBsAg. There was no significant difference (P>0.05) between the number of male and female students positive for HBsAg. On the basis of age distribution, data show that 3 (2.7%) out of the 110 students that were 16-20 years old were positive for HBsAg, while students in the other age groups were negative for HBsAg. Risk factors associated with infection include: tattooing, history of blood transfusion and shared sharp objects. Interestingly, zero prevalence rate (0%) of HCV mono-infection, as well as HBV/HCV co-infection was recorded in this current study.

Conclusion: The outcome of this study showed that a low prevalence rate of HBV mono-infection exists among undergraduate students of Babcock University, therefore the on-going public health campaign programme against Hepatitis B and C should be sustained.

Open Access Original Research Article

Tuberculosis in Children Aged 0-5 Years at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Nigeria - How Common is HIV in Children with Tuberculosis

N. I. Paul, B. A. Alex- Hart, R. O. Ugwu

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2019/v36i330146

Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading cause of death in young children and the risk of progression from infection to disease is higher in the very young especially among those with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. This study therefore aimed to examine the method of TB diagnosis and how common HIV infection is among children 0-5 years with tuberculosis at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH).

Methods: Information of children aged 0-5 years from 1st January, 2011 to 31st December 2014 were retrieved from the TB register of the Directly Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS) clinic of UPTH. This included the age, sex, HIV status, Sputum AFB status, method of diagnosis of tuberculosis and the treatment outcome of the patients. Ethical approval for the study was obtained from the Research and Ethics committee of the University of Teaching Hospital.

Results: Three hundred and thirty five children were treated for TB and 179 (53.43%) of them were aged 0-5 years. There were 93 (51.96%) males and 86 (48.04%) females, with male: female ratio of 1.08:1.  Their mean age was 1.96 ±1.45. The sputum or gastric lavage of 21 (11.73%) were positive for acid fast bacilli (AFB). The common method of TB diagnosis was clinical/ radiological method and this constituted 158 (88.27%) of the patients with TB. Ninety (50.28%) children with TB were less than one year of age and there was no statistical significant relationship between age and method of TB diagnosis (x2 = 2.78, p = 0.249). More males 93 (51.96%) than females 86 (48.04%) had TB but more females 13 (61.90%) than males 8 (38.10%) were AFB positive, however, these were not statistically significant. (x 2  = 1.26 p-value = 0.262). Seventy two (40.22%) of the children with TB were HIV positive. One hundred and thirty five (75.42%) of the children recovered following treatment while 44 (24.58%) were referred to Dots centres closest to the patients. No child died.

Conclusion: The prevalence of TB among under-fives especially among infants is high. Clinical and radiological methods were the common methods of TB diagnosis. HIV prevalence among children with TB was lower than expected by the authors, however, the treatment outcome was good. Re-training of clinicians to improve their expertise on clinical diagnosis of TB and a more in depth search of TB in the community among children 0-5 years who are HIV sero-negative with persistent cough is advocated.

Open Access Review Article

African Skin: Different Types, Needs and Diseases

Olumayowa Abimbola Oninla, Samuel Olorunyomi Oninla, Bolaji Ibiesa Otike-Odibi, Mufutau Muphy Oripelaye, Fatai Olatunde Olanrewaju, Tahir Mohammed

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2019/v36i330143

Microscopic structures in the skin are basically the same in all races. Differences are found in histology and physiology of the skin resulting in different skin types, needs and prevailing skin diseases. Skin pigmentation (with the photo-protective properties), and the barrier function of the stratum corneum are the main differences between African and Caucasian skin.

The geographic distribution of UV radiation (UVR) has a positive correlation with geographical location. The darker-skinned populations are closer to the equator where there are high amounts of UVR especially in the tropical regions of the world. African skin has the greatest variability in skin color. Africa has both white and dark skinned individuals with the darker-skinned populations being mostly around the equator.         

Leslie Baumann introduced four parameters that more accurately characterized skin types than previous classification of dry, oily, normal and combination skin. These are dry or oily – D/O; sensitive or resistant – S/R; pigmented or non-pigmented – P/N, and wrinkled or unwrinkled skin – W/T. Combinations of these further produced sixteen skin phenotypes.  Dark skinned individuals often have the PT types while the light skinned mostly have the NW types.

Skin needs basically depends on the type. Identifying the skin type is fundamental to providing the right skin care. According to Baumann, the fundamental elements of skin care are mild cleansing, hydrating (moisturization with humectants and emollients), replenishing (with lipids, ceramides and fatty acids) and skin protection (UV protection and increased humidity).

Skin diseases are associated with skin type. Eczema is more typical in people with DS combinations while acne is associated with OS skin type (especially OSNT and OSPT). Prevalence of skin diseases varies within African communities from 35% to 87% with skin infections affecting 22-46% and eczemas 13-21% of patients in various studies.

Open Access Review Article

Ecological Factors and the Prevalence of Trypanosome Infections and Its Economic Implications for Livestock Industry in Simanjiro, Tanzania: A Review

Kelvin Ngongolo, Samuel Mtoka, Chrispinus D. Rubanza

International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/ijtdh/2019/v36i330145

Aims: Trypanosomosis is among one of the tropical neglected diseases which have impacted on human, livestock and wildlife. Different factors have been discussed by various researchers but ecological factors being considered in nutshell. This paper aimed at reviewing details on how the ecological factors influence the prevalence of trypanosome.

Study Design: Literature review where various literatures have been reviewed and the information synthesized. This paper has placed focus on: habitat type, wildlife management type, wildlife abundance and diversity, fire incidence and human activities.

Place and Duration of Study: This literature review work focused in Tanzania mainland and specifically on Simanjiro district for economic implication of trypanosomiasis for the period of 2011-2013 years.

Methodology: Literature Searching was done using key words in the following search engines Research gate, (, Google scholar, (, and PubMed. Manual search in printed documents were done in reports from government, poster, proceedings and publications which were not available in the internet.

Results: Variation of habitat types was observed to have impacts on spatial and temporal distribution of various tsetse flies and wildlife species which are vector and reservoirs of the diseases respectively. Incidence of fire affected the distribution of tsetse flies, wildlife and prevalence of trypanosome. For the interval of three years (2011-2013) a loss of more than 1million USD associated with trypanosomiasis is estimated in Simanjiro district. More money is used by pastoralists in treatment of animals than in spraying pesticides.

Conclusion: It is recommended that, more work to be done on the impact of ecological factors on trypanosomiasis. Also more effort is required in controlling the disease through collaboration of different stakeholders such as livestock officers, ecologists, veterinarians and other relevant agencies.