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The effects of host diet on Plasmodium yoelii nigeriensis

Journal of Parasitology 76(6): 903-912
The effects of host diet on Plasmodium yoelii nigeriensis
A comparative study carried out on infected mice to investigate the effect of host diet on Plasmodium yoelii nigeriensis showed that concentrations of blood protein, hemoglobin, and erythrocytes began to decrease in infected mice on day 2 after inoculation and reached the lowest levels on day 8. The greatest decrease was among mice fed on protein-rich mouse cubes, whereas the least decrease was among mice fed on cassava meal. Inflammation of the spleens and livers of infected mice also was noticed. Leucocyte numbers and parasitemia in infected mice reached their peaks on day 8. Again, the greatest prevalence of these abnormalities was apparent among mice whose diet contained the highest amount of protein in comparison to the other diets used in this study. The abnormalities decreased proportionately among the other groups of infected mice, corresponding to the protein content of their various diets. Mice fed on cassava meal, with the lowest content of protein, had the fewest abnormalities. Elevated body temperature, characteristic of severe malaria, and extensive liver damage were highest among mice with the greatest amount of protein in their diet. In view of these observations, it was surmised that during malaria, host diets high in protein heighten the severity of this disease.

Accession: 002249223

PMID: 2254825

DOI: 10.2307/3282812

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