The levels of antioxidant vitamins were estimated in Plasmodium falciparum
malaria infected children. Forty-three children with P.falciparum
infection were selected based on the clinical symptoms. Twenty-two apparently healthy children with no malaria parasitaemia were included as the control subjects. P.falciparum
parasitaemia and serum levels of the antioxidant vitamins (vitamin A, C and E) were determined using standard procedures. It was observed that all parameters measured were significantly lower in malaria infected children when compared with the respective control values. The relationship between malaria parasitaemia and serum concentration of vitamin E were positively correlated (r= 0.42), but vitamin A (r= -0.05) and C (-0.06) were negatively correlated. Children within 0-5 years of age had higher malarial parasitaemia (7379.82 ± 918 99/µL) than those between 6-12 years of age (5026.19 ± 1514.58/µL), and these children had lower concentrations of vitamin A (21.27 ± 8.68 µg/dL), C (0.45 ± 0.19 mg/dl) and E (0.69 ± 0.22 mg/dL) when compared with children between 6-12 years (vitamin A = 25.19 ± 8.12 µg/dL, vitamin C = 0.53 ± 0.16 mg/ dL and vitamin E = 0.86 ± 0.41 mg/ dL). Results suggest that in Owerri, Eastern Nigeria, the degree of malaria parasitaemia in especially children between 0-5 years could comprise immunity (as judged by the correlation) and reduce serum antioxidant vitamin levels. Health care providers should recognize these effects in planning malarial treatment and control programs. Changes in serum antioxidant levels during post-treatment periods should be investigated and documented.