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A 45-year-old member asked:

Why is it that carriers of sickle cell anemia are immune to malaria?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ball
Pediatric Hematology and Oncology 20 years experience
Malaria infects RBCs: Malaria infects red blood cells. Persons with sickle cell trait will often be "immune" because the malaria infection is not allowed to propagate through the rbcs because the sickle trait causes them to die a little faster when infected. Persons with sickle cell disease get very sick with malaria, because of sickle cell related complications. Persons with normal hemoglobin gets sick from malaria.
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Dr. Scott Diede
A Verified Doctoranswered
30 years experience
Malaria and Sickle: Sickle cell disease shortens the life span of a red blood cell. The parasite that causes malaria lives and reproduces in a red blood cell exclusively. The shortened red blood cell life span caused by the sickle cell mutation interferes with the lifecycle of the malaria parasite, thus making the person mostly resistant to malaria.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Similar questions

A 39-year-old member asked:

Can you please tell me why it'sthat only carriers of sickle cell anemia are immune to malaria?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Ginsberg
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology 38 years experience
Both carriers and : People with the disease are protected (not immune). People with trait historically were more likely to survive into adulthood to pass along the sickle cell gene. People with ss hemglobin, until recently, were not likely to survive into adulthood to have children.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 37-year-old member asked:

How is it that sickle cell anemia formed because of malaria?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Ginsberg
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology 38 years experience
I think: You are asking what is the relationship between sickle cell anemia and malaria. People with sickle cell trait are somewhat protected against certain infections with malaria. This survival advantage allows for the propagation of the sickle cell gene to the offspring, and if the offspring have a survival advantage over those without the gene, they will have the opportunity to continue propagate.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 47-year-old member asked:

Is malaria and sickle cell anemia related?

5 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Unger
A Verified Doctoranswered
42 years experience
No: Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Sickle cell is a genetic disorder resulting in a disruption in the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells. Sickle cell is a disorder observed in african americans.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Jan 28, 2017

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