Severe acute malnutrition and acute systemic infection are often synergistic in children and lead to considerable mortality. The main aim of this research was to determine whether children with severe acute malnutrition can mount an acute phase reactant response measured by C-reactive protein. This was a descriptive, cross-sectional, hospital-based study that was carried out in the five main children hospitals in Khartoum state, from November 1st, 2012 to March 1st, 2013. 132 children with severe acute malnutrition were included in the study. Data collection included history, examination and C-reactive protein measurement. The data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for descriptive and inferential statistics. The main results revealed that 93(70.5%) children between 12-23 months of age and most of them had marasmus. Diarrhoea was the commonest presenting symptoms in 86.4%, followed by fever and vomiting. Most of the children (82.6%) had positive C-reactive protein with variable levels. In conclusion malnourished children are able to synthesize C-reactive protein in response to an infectious process and the magnitude of this response is increased in those with severe infections.
Malnutrition; Marasmus; Kwashiorkor C-reactive protein; Infection