Seasonal childhood anaemia in West Africa is associated with the haptoglobin 2-2 genotype

In a study done in West Africa, Dr. Sarah Atkinson and colleagues from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London showed an association between a particular type of haptoglobin (Hp2-2) and anemia in children, in an area where malaria is very common. Haptoglobin is a protein that picks up the free hemoglobin which is released after red cells are damaged by malaria. This increased occurrence of anemia in these children may be because the particular type of haptoglobin, Hp2-2, is less able pick up the hemoglobin released from red cells. One suggested explanation of why this genetic variant remains in the population despite being associated with anemia is that it may provide protection from life-threatening malaria. In a related perspective, Stephen Rogerson from the Royal Melbourne Hospital discusses further the implications of the study.

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Citation: Atkinson SH, Rockett K, Sirugo G, Bejon PA, Fulford A, et al (2006) Seasonal childhood anaemia in West Africa is associated with the haptoglobin 2-2 genotype. PLoS Med 3(5): e172.

PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030172

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-03-05-atkinson.pdf

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE SYNOPSIS: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-03-05-atkinson-syn.pdf

CONTACT:
Sarah Atkinson
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Nutrition and Public Health Intervention Unit
Keppel Street
London WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom
+44 (0)2079588140
+44 (0)2079588111 (fax)
satkinson@kilifi.mimcom.net

Related PLoS Medicine Perspective article:

Citation: Rogerson S (2006) What is the relationship between haptoglobin, malaria, and anaemia? PLoS Med 3(5): e200.

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-03-05-rogerson.pdf

CONTACT:
Stephen Rogerson
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
+61 3 8344 3259
sroger@unimelb.edu.au

About PLoS Medicine

PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org


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