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A 37-year-old member asked:

I'm wondering why are carriers for sickle cell anemia resistant to malaria?

4 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Hematology and Oncology 25 years experience
Sickle and malaria: Patients with sickle cell disease are protected against severe and complicated malaria infection- by 2 mechanism: -1. Cells infected with malaria parasites had accelerated sickling compared with non-infected cells- and as the result the cell would be destroyed/ promoting removal of infected cells from the circulation `2.Impaired parasite growth due to reduce o2 content in sickle cell.
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Dr. Michael Engel
Pediatric Hematology and Oncology 22 years experience
Extremely complex...: This is a fascinating molecular mechanistic story, but too complex for this forum. Suffice it to say that the presence of the sickle beta chain creates an inhospitable environment for the organisms that cause malaria, plasmodium falciparum and vivax. This advantage must be balanced with the disadvantage of too much hgbs. Historically, survival to reproductive age was rare, but trait is tolerated.
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Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 27 years experience
Malaria/sickle cell: In a person who has sickle-cell trait, the red blood cells are destroyed prematurely before the Plamodium can reproduce. According to one study “Sickle cell trait provides 60% protection against overall mortality. Most of this protection occurs between 2-16 months of life, before the onset of clinical immunity in areas with intense transmission of malaria.”
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Dr. Roy Arnold
Internal Medicine 49 years experience
Hgb S inhibits: Parasite growth in two ways. Increased sickling causes more rapid removal of infested red blood cells (suicide effect) and low oxygen in Hgb S RBC actually kills parasite. Thanks for trusting HealthTap!
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Similar questions

A 44-year-old member asked:

Why are people who are heterozygous for sickle cell anemia more resistant to malaria?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 27 years experience
Malaria: In a person who has sickle-cell trait – the red blood cells are destroyed prematurely before the Plamodium can reproduce. Sickle Cell Trait can provide a protective advantage against P. Falciparum. According to one study “Sickle cell trait provides 60% protection against overall mortality. Most of this protection occurs between 2-16 months of life, before the onset of clinical immunity in areas >
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 27 years experience
Provided original answer
with intense transmission of malaria.” See: http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/biology/sickle_cell.html
Nov 9, 2014
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 39 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.
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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 39 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.
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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
43 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.
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Last updated Mar 23, 2017

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