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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51-56

The effect of recurrent malaria infections on bone and cartilage at the distal femoral epiphysis of rats: A histological study

1 Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
2 Department of Pathology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
3 Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Ato Ampomah Brown
Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrsm.jcrsm_11_20

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Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the normal changes that occur at the distal femoral epiphysis of rats and determine whether recurrent bouts of malaria altered them in anyway. Materials and Methods: The 1st phase of the study made use of 30 Sprague-Dawley rats aged 4 weeks. Two rats were culled each week for 15 weeks, the femoral bones of the rats were then harvested. Histological sections of the distal femora were prepared and studied. The 2nd phase involved 32 animals that were randomly assigned to four groups of 8 animals each. (Group A to D) Group A was given oral antimalarial drugs only, Group B was inoculated with Plasmodium berghei (NK65) only, Group C was inoculated with P. berghei (NK65) and treated with oral antimalarial drug, and Group D animals were neither inoculated nor given antimalarial drugs. At the end of the experiment histological sections of the femoral epiphysis of the rats were prepared and studied. Results: The microscopic architecture of the epiphyseal cartilage changed significantly as the animals aged. Significant differences were observed in mean bone thickness of the various experimental groups. There was however no significant difference in the mean cartilage thickness when comparison was made within the various groups. Conclusion: Although recurrent bouts of malaria infection appear not to alter the normal histological changes that occur in epiphyseal bone and cartilage layers, it most likely has an adverse effect on the rate of bone tissue deposition.

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