α-Thalassaemia trait is associated with Antibody prevalence against Malaria Antigens AMA-1 and MSP-1

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Abstract

A longitudinal study was conducted in a low endemic area in northern Tanzania to examine the influence of the α-thalassaemia trait on malaria incidence and antibody responses to malaria apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) and merozoite surface protein1-19 (MSP-119). Out of 394 children genotyped for α-thalassaemia trait, 4.1% (16 of 394) and 30.7% (121 of 394) were homozygous and heterozygous, respectively. During the 1 year follow-up, four incidents of malaria cases were detected without an evident association with α-thalassaemia. Being heterozygous or homozygous for α-thalassaemia was associated with an increased prevalence of antibodies to AMA-1 [odds ratio (OR): 1.83, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07–3.12, p = 0.027] and MSP-1 (OR: 2.04, 95% CI: 1.16–3.60, p = 0.013) after adjustment for age and reported bednet use. The observed association between α-thalassaemia and malaria antibody responses may reflect longer-term differences in antigen exposure or differences in antibody acquisition upon exposure in this low endemic setting.

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