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J Glob Infect Dis. 2019 Jul-Sep;11(3):118-122. doi: 10.4103/jgid.jgid_154_18.

Hemoglobin S and Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency Coinheritance in AS and SS Individuals in Malaria-Endemic Region: A Study in Calabar, Nigeria.

Author information

Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Hematology Unit, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.



Malaria placed a huge burden on human life and has been reported to be a key health problem affecting developing countries. This study was designed to assay for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) status and malaria parasite density of individuals with sickle cell gene in University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar.

Subjects and Methods:

The methemoglobin method was used to determine the G6PD status. Thick blood films were used to ascertain the malaria parasite density while hemoglobin genotype was determined using cellulose acetate paper electrophoresis with tris ethylenediaminetetracetic acid borate buffer (pH 8.6). Thirty hemoglobin SS (HbSS) and 30 hemoglobin AS (HbAS) individuals were recruited for the study while 30 hemoglobin AA (HbAA) individuals were recruited as control.


The study showed a high frequency of G6PD deficiency (17.78%) in the study area while G6PD deficiency was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in HbAA individuals (33.33%) when compared to HbSS (10.00%) and HbAS (10.00%) individuals. The prevalence of malaria parasitemia and parasite density was comparable in the three hemoglobin variants. The distribution of malaria parasitemia and parasite density in both gender among the various hemoglobin variants showed no association (P > 0.05). G6PD deficiency distribution in both gender were found to be comparable (P > 0.05). The distribution of malaria parasitemia in the various hemoglobin variants in the G6PD-deficient individuals showed no significant difference (P > 0.5). However, the parasite density of the HbAS (3100 ± 1828.48 μL) and HbSS (2400 ± 1687.06 μL) were significantly lower than that of HbAA (4040 ± 1529.44 μL).


The result of this study supports the hypothesis that inheriting the G6PD deficiency gene and sickle cell gene (both in homozygous and heterozygous form) reduces the severity of malaria parasite infection and hence protects against severe acute malaria while having less effect on infection.


G6PD; Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase; hemoglobin; hemoglobin SS; malaria parasite; sickle cell

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