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Background: Haematological abnormalities are implicated in malaria and many pharmacological agents used in the treatment of malaria in the tropics. The present study evaluated the effect of different Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) namely: Artesunate + Amodiaquine (ASAQ), Artesunate + Sulfadoxine Pyrimethamine (ASSP), (Artesunate + Lumefantrine (AL) on the haematological status of P. berghei infected mice.
Methods: Course of infection was studied in infected and drug treated experimental mice by observation of blood smears. Haematological parameters were estimated according to the standard protocols.
Results: Haematological parameters like Hb, RBC count, PCV, MCV, MCHC, PLT count were significantly decreased (P < .05) and MCH and WBC count were significantly increased (P < .05) in P. berghei infected group when compared to the control group. Differential Leucocytes Count (DLC) has shown significant increase (P < .05) in lymphocyte, neutrophil and monocyte counts but shown significant decrease (P < .05) in eosinophil and basophil counts in P. berghei infected group when compared to the control group. When these infected mice were subjected to Artemisinin-based combination therapy, the haematological parameters were restored to normal levels.
Conclusion: Among the drug treated groups, ASAQ was found to be more efficacious when compared to the ASSP and AL in restoring the haematological indices and rapid parasite clearance. No recrudescence was observed in all the treated groups up to 28 day follow-up. Hence, our findings suggest that all the three ACTs are effective and safer but among the three, ASAQ combination therapy is more effective and best haematological recovery was observed when compared to the ASSP and AL combination therapies.