Malaria is a disease of global importance and afflicts more than ninety countries and territories in the tropical and subtropical region. Metals such as iron and zinc are essential for different biological functions in human beings and are co-factors in most of the enzymes. However, data about significant variation of these micronutrients during infections in developing countries where we encounter malnutrition and infection problem together are limited.
Objectives: This study was undertaken to quantify the serum levels of iron and zinc in malaria infected children and to compare it with that of controls and to correlate the levels with type of malaria, and outcome of illness.
Methods: Thirty cases of proven malaria and 30 age and sex matched controls were recruited during the study period. Blood samples were obtained from each patients and controls, centrifuged and serum was analyzed for estimation of iron and zinc using spectrophotometer.
Results: Mean serum iron among 30 cases was found to be 88.47 µg/dl, when compared to controls (97.47µg/dl), it was low. The mean serum zinc levels among 30 cases was 42.67µg/dl, which is statistically lower than among controls 57.43µg/dl. There was no difference between the types of malaria.
Conclusion: The present study showed that there is significant reduction in the serum levels of iron and zinc in children admitted with malaria. It may suggest that the decreased levels of iron and zinc can be rectified by supplementing these metals in therapy. Further detailed studies are needed in this aspect.