Level of circulating steroid hormones in malaria and cutaneous leishmaniasis: a case control study

  • Farideh Esfandiari
  • Bahador SarkariEmail author
  • Habibollah Turki
  • Nasir Arefkhah
  • Najme Shakouri
Original Article


Epidemiological and clinical studies have shown a great difference in the severity and prevalence of infectious diseases in men and women and various studies have shown that the key immunological factors are affected by sex-associated hormones. Considering the role of sex hormones in various infections, the current study aimed to determine the level of sex hormones in patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and malaria and compare it with those of healthy controls. The survey was designed as a case–control study. Peripheral blood was collected from thirty male malaria patients, sixty patients (equal number of both sexes) with cutaneous leishmaniasis and ninety healthy subjects. Disease confirmations were done through microscopic examination of either peripheral blood smears, in case of malaria, or Giemsa-stained lesion imprint slides for CL. The level of testosterone, progesterone and estrogen were measured in malaria and CL patients along with healthy subjects, using an ELISA commercial kit. Age of participants was 18–35 years (mean 25.39 ± 4.70) for CL patients and 14–41 years (mean 27.63 ± 9.09) for malaria patients. Differences between the age of patients and the healthy subjects were insignificant. The level of testosterone in malaria patients (1.44 ± 0.12 ng/mL) was lower than control group (1.46 ± 0.06, ng/mL) but the differences were not statistically significant (p > .05). The concentration of testosterone in CL patients (1.49 ± 0.03 ng/mL) was higher than those of control group (1.46 ± 0.06 ng/mL), and the difference was statistically significant (p  = 0.05). Although the concentration of estrogen and progesterone in CL patients were lower than controls, still the differences were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Findings of the current study demonstrated a significant difference in the serum level of testosterone in CL patients in comparison with the healthy subjects whereas such difference was not seen in malaria patients.


Steroid hormones Malaria Cutaneous leishmaniasis 



The results described in this paper were part of MD thesis of Najme Shakouri. The study was financially supported by the office of vice-chancellor for research of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (Grant No. 94-01-43-9603).


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Copyright information

© Indian Society for Parasitology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of MedicineShiraz University of Medical SciencesShirazIran
  2. 2.Basic Sciences in Infectious Diseases Research CenterShiraz University of Medical SciencesShirazIran
  3. 3.Infectious and Tropical Diseases Research Center, Hormozgan Health InstituteHormozgan University of Medical SciencesBandar AbbasIran

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