Minimal association of common red blood cell polymorphisms with Plasmodium falciparum infection and uncomplicated malaria in Papua New Guinean school children

Enmoore Lin, Livingstone Tavul, Pascal Michon, Jack S. Richards, Elijah Dabod, James G. Beeson, Christopher L. King, Peter A. Zimmerman, Ivo Mueller

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Southeast Asian ovalocytosis (SAO), α+-thalassemia, and low expression of complement receptor 1 (CR1) have been associated with protection against severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria. In a cohort of children 5-14 years of age the effect of α+-thalassemia, SAO (SLC4A1Δ27 ), CR1 polymorphisms, and Gerbich negativity (GYPCΔex3) on risk of P. falciparum infections and uncomplicated illness were evaluated. The risk of acquiring polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-diagnosed P. falciparum infections was significantly lower for α+-thalassemia heterozygotes (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.56) and homozygotes (HR: 0.51) than wild-type children. No such differences were seen in light of microscopy diagnosed infections (P = 0.71) or were α+-thalassemia genotypes associated with a reduced risk of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. No significant associations between the risk of P. falciparum infection or illness were observed for any of the other red blood cell polymorphisms (P > 0.2). This suggests that these polymorphisms are not associated with significant protection against P. falciparum blood-stage infection or uncomplicated malaria in school-aged children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-833
Number of pages6
JournalThe American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

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