Contributions of polyclonal malaria, gametocytemia, and pneumonia to infant severe anemia incidence in malaria hyperendemic Pemba, Tanzania

Thomas Jaenisch, Sunil Sazawal, Arup Dutta, Saikat Deb, Mahdi Ramsan, David J. Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The causative factors for severe anemia incidence in sub-Saharan Africa are multifactorial. In an observational, longitudinal study of two cohorts of about 300 infants followed-up for six months in a malaria hyperendemic area, the risk factors for severe anemia incidence were clinical malaria and pneumonia, which outweighed nutritional and sociodemographic factors. Severe anemia incidence was 1-2/year at age 2 months, peaked around 6-7/year at age 7-12 months, and decreased back to 1-2/year at age 16-22 months. The age-dependent increase of severe anemia incidence was shown to be parallel to the age-dependent increase of clinical malaria. Previous clinical malaria episodes increased the severe anemia risk by 80%, and gametocyte carriage and pneumonia at prior visit was associated with a six-fold increase and a > 10-fold increase, respectively. The role of pneumonia and malaria as risk factors, and areas for interventions for severe anemia, should not be underestimated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-930
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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