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The high frequencies of both alpha+ thalassemia and the sickle cell trait (hemoglobin AS [HbAS]) found in many tropical populations are thought to reflect selection pressure from Plasmodium falciparum malaria. For HbAS, but not for alpha+ thalassemia, protection appears to be mediated by the enhanced phagocytic clearance of ring-infected erythrocytes. We have investigated the genotype-specific distributions of peripheral blood leukocyte populations in two groups of children living on the coast of Kenya: a group of healthy P. falciparum parasite-negative children sampled at cross-sectional survey during a period of low malaria transmission, and a group of children attending the hospital with acute malaria. We report distinctive distributions of peripheral blood myeloid dendritic cells and monocytes in children with alpha+ thalassemia and HbAS during healthy periods and disease, and suggest ways in which these might relate to the mechanisms of protection afforded by these conditions.

Type

Journal article

Journal

The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene

Publication Date

04/2006

Volume

74

Pages

578 - 584

Addresses

Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, Oxford University, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom. britta.urban@ndm.ox.ac.uk

Keywords

Myeloid Cells, Humans, Malaria, Falciparum, Sickle Cell Trait, alpha-Thalassemia, Hemoglobin, Sickle, Flow Cytometry, Cross-Sectional Studies, Genotype, Child, Child, Preschool, Infant, Kenya, Female, Male