Serum protein concentrations of healthy Zambians and Europeans resident in Lusaka
Substantial differences in plasma protein patterns have been reported for apparently health persons living in the tropics (Holmes et al., 1955, Eziolo 1970, Nantulya and Lindqvist 1973). This seems to be particularly true if values for peoples living in tropical countries are compared with those from temperate regions. There seems to be little doubt that some of these differences are due to prolonged or repeated exposure to a variety of tropical diseases. Recent investigations of serum protein patterns in subjects with experimentally induced malaria (Collins et al., 1971) showed significantly altered patterns in some individuals many months after a single administration of the parasites. (Gilles and McGregor 1962) showed significant alteration towards Western values in serum proteins of Gambian women living in a rural village who received malaria prophylaxis for two years. Untreated women of the same village did not show a similar alteration. Apart from two previous studies which have been carried out on normal protein patterns in Zambians (Ezeilo 1970; Briggs, Wenlock and Briggs 1972), very little information in presently available on normal serum protein patterns in Zambians. In neither of these studies was a comparison made with a European group living under similar circumstances to the Zambians. It was therefore thought that a study comparing results on normal serum proteins in Zambians with those found in Europeans resident in Zambia would be a useful addition to the already available information. A study of the various serum proteins is reported in fifty male and fifty female Zambians.The results are compared with a group of 22 European females and 12 European males. Differences in the albumin levels are expected and are most probably due to diet differences. Similarly the increase in the gamma globulin fraction among Zambians was expected and is most certainly related to prolonged malaria experience.