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Malaria Research and Treatment
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 923674, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/923674
Research Article

Malaria Parasite Density Estimated with White Blood Cells Count Reference Value Agrees with Density Estimated with Absolute in Children Less Than 5 Years in Central Ghana

Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC), Box 200, Kintampo North, Brong Ahafo, Ghana

Received 5 January 2015; Accepted 9 March 2015

Academic Editor: Polrat Wilairatana

Copyright © 2015 Dennis Adu-Gyasi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Introduction. The estimation of malaria parasite density using a microscope heavily relies on White Blood Cells (WBCs) counts. An assumed WBCs count of 8000/µL has been accepted as reasonably accurate in estimating malaria parasite densities due to the challenge to accurately determine WBCs count. Method. The study used 4944 pieces of laboratory data of consented participants of age group less than 5 years. The study compared parasite densities of absolute WBCs, assumed WBCs, and the WBCs reference values in Central Ghana. Ethical approvals were given by three ethics committees. Results. The mean (±SD) WBCs and geometric mean parasite density (GMPD) were 10500/µL (±4.1) and 10644/µL (95% CI 9986/µL to 11346/µL), respectively. The difference in the GMPD compared using absolute WBCs and densities of assumed WBCs was significantly lower. The difference in GMPD obtained with an assumed WBCs count and that of the WBCs reference values for the study area, 10400/µL and 9200/µL for children in different age groups, were not significant. Discussion. Significant errors could result when assumed WBCs count is used to estimate malaria parasite density in children. GMPD generated with WBCs reference values statistically agreed with density from the absolute WBCs. When obtaining absolute WBC is not possible, the reference value can be used to estimate parasite density.