Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sickle Cell Protects Against Malaria

30.05.2005


In this month’s issue of the freely available online journal PLoS Medicine, Dr. Thomas N. Williams and colleagues from Kilifi, Kenya, show that the protection against malaria given by carrying the gene for sickle cell haemoglobin may involve the immune system. Studying a group of children and adults in the Kilifi District of coastal Kenya, they found that this protection increased during childhood up to age 10, and then declined.



Malaria causes about a million deaths yearly, the overwhelming number of which are young children in sub-Saharan Africa. It has been known for many years that in those areas most afflicted by malaria the gene for sickle cell hemoglobin (HbS) occurs very frequently. The protection against malaria occurs in people who are heterozygote (HbAS), i.e., have one normal and one sickle gene, and previous work has suggested that there is an immune component to this protection.

To discover whether the protection provided by HbAS is innate or varies with age, the authors studied age-specific malaria in a sample of children and adults in the Kilifi District of coastal Kenya. Protection against mild malaria increased up to 60% at age 10, decreasing to 30% in older children.


Research into malaria has yet to yield an effective vaccine but this work may provide some insights for such research. The authors suggest mechanisms by which HbAS could affect immunity, for example, accelerated acquisition of antibodies to altered host proteins expressed on the malaria-infected red cell surface.

Citation: Williams TN, Mwangi TW, Roberts DJ, Alexander ND, Weatherall DJ, et al. (2005) An immune basis for malaria protection by the sickle cell trait. PLoS Med 2(5): e128.

Paul Ocampo | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plosmedicine.org

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air
26.04.2017 | University of Central Florida

nachricht Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics
25.04.2017 | University of Delaware

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>