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Association between alpha-thalassaemia trait, Plasmodium falciparum asexual parasites and gametocyte carriage in a malaria endemic area in Southern Ghana

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Helena Lamptey
  • Michael Fokuo Ofori
  • Bright Adu
  • Kwadwo Asamoah Kusi
  • Emmanuel Kakra Dickson
  • Isabella Quakyi
  • Michael Alifrangis
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OBJECTIVE: The alpha-thalassaemia trait has been associated with protection against severe malaria but its role in Plasmodium falciparum asexual parasite and gametocyte carriage remains unclear. This study examined association between prevalence of α-thalassaemia and P. falciparum asexual stage parasitaemia and gametocytaemia in children, pregnant women and adults, which was part of a bigger study that investigated some key factors that influence gametocyte carriage.

RESULTS: Overall prevalence of heterozygous α-thalassaemia trait among all the groups was 39.0%, while 8.2% were homozygous alpha thalassaemia. Asexual parasite prevalence was significantly higher in children (P = 0.008) compared to adults and pregnant women. Of the asexual P. falciparum positive individuals, gametocyte prevalence was 38.5% (15/39) in children, 29.7% (11/37) in pregnant women and 17.4% (4/23) in adults. Heterozygous α-thalassaemic children were less likely to harbour asexual parasites, compared with normal and those deficient (OR = 0.52; 95% CI 0.28-0.97; P = 0.037) under the dominant model. These heterozygous children were also associated with reduced risk of parasitaemia compared to heterozygous adults and pregnant women. Children with heterozygous α-thalassaemia trait had reduced risk of asexual parasite carriage. There was however, no association between α-thalassaemia trait and risk of gametocyte carriage.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)134
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2019

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Carrier State/epidemiology, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Germ Cells, Ghana/epidemiology, Humans, Malaria, Falciparum/epidemiology, Male, Middle Aged, Parasitemia/epidemiology, Plasmodium falciparum/isolation & purification, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology, Prevalence, Reproduction, Asexual, Young Adult, alpha-Thalassemia/epidemiology

ID: 59238712