Objective: To find out if indeed anaemia is'a major sign in human trypanosomiasis caused by Trypanosoma brucei rhodensiense. Design: A one year cross-sectional study of all admitted and surveyed Trypanosoma brucei rhodensiense infected patients (June 2001-June 2002) Setting: Nkhotakota District Hospital-Central Region of Malawi. Results: After survey and investigations, 28 patients (16 males and 12 females) were admitted to Nkhotakota District Hospital with a parasite positive Trypanosoma brucei rhodensiense infection. Twenty four (85.7%) of them were anaemic. Their mean haemoglobin was 8.96 ± 3.07 g/dl compared to controls that had a mean haemoglobin concentration of 12.17 ± 1.35 g/dl (p < 0.000001, 95% CI -4.342 to -2.0785) (n = 45). None of the trypanosomiasis infected individuals had schistosomiasis or hookworms. Two patients had malaria. One of them was an 18-year-old pregnant woman with hepatosplenomegaly, who developed ante partum haemorrhage. She was jaundiced and had haemoglobin of 10 g/dl. She died after two weeks following the diagnosis and treatment. The other was a two-year-old girl who had haemoglobin of 8.4 g/dl. She also had hepatosplenomegaly. All the other patients looked well nourished with no other signs of chronic diseases. Hepatosplenomegaly was significantly related to the severity of illness (p = 0.011) but not to anaemia. Conclusion: Though basic, this study has shown that anaemia is indeed a complication of human Africa trypanosomiasis caused by Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. There is need for further investigation to investigate the type of anaemia that is caused by this disease.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||East African Medical Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2004|