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The influence of schistosomiasis on the serum concentrations of retinol and retinol binding protein of a rural population in Liberia

The influence of schistosomiasis on the serum concentrations of retinol and retinol binding protein of a rural population in Liberia

Acta Tropica 40(3): 261-269

ISSN/ISBN: 0001-706X

PMID: 6138976

121 persons from rural areas of central Liberia were examined for possible interactions between helminthic infections and the retinol (vitamin A) and retinol binding protein (= RBP) status. About 2/3 of this mainly adult population had retinol and RBP serum concentrations less than or equal to 400 micrograms/l and less than or equal to 40 micrograms/ml, respectively. Only one person had a serum retinol concentration less than 100 micrograms/l which is critical for the appearance of xerophthalmia. The retinol and RBP concentrations showed a linear, positive correlation. 19 parasitologically helminth free individuals had mean serum retinol and RBP concentrations of 414 micrograms/l and 43 micrograms/ml, respectively, while the corresponding values of 20 individuals with schistosomiasis as the only helminthic infection were 339 micrograms/l and 35 micrograms/ml. 65 other persons with mixed intestinal and/or tissue helminthiases, and 9 persons with pure Onchocerca volvulus infection exhibited intermediate mean concentrations. 32 persons without serological evidence of helminthic infections had higher serum concentrations of retinol and RBP than 32 individuals in whose sera at least one raised antibody titer was found in the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with 3 different helminthic test antigens. In addition to age, sex and pregnancy schistosomiasis might be a further risk factor of latent retinol and RBP deficiency among adults and teenagers living in a schistosomiasis endemic area.

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Accession: 006700134

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