Hemoglobin C and resistance to severe malaria in Ghanaian children

Frank P. Mockenhaupt, Stephan Ehrhardt, Jakob P. Cramer, Rowland H. Otchwemah, Sylvester D. Anemana, Katharina Goltz, Franziska Mylius, Ekkehart Dietz, Teunis A. Eggelte, Ulrich Bienzle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hemoglobin (Hb) C has been reported to protect against severe malaria. It is unclear whether relative resistance affects infection, disease, or both. Its extent may vary between regions and with disease pattern. We conducted a case-control study of children with severe malaria, asymptomatic parasitemic children, and healthy children in Ghana. HbAC did not prevent infection but reduced the odds of developing severe malaria and severe anemia. Protection was stronger with HbAS. The frequencies of HbCC and HbSC decreased, from healthy children to asymptomatic parasitemic children to children with severe malaria. These data support the notion that natural selection of HbC occurs because of the relative resistance it confers against severe malaria but argue against the notion that HbC offers resistance to infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1009
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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