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J Infect Dis. 2013 May 15;207(10):1600-3. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jit070. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

An ATP2B4 polymorphism protects against malaria in pregnancy.

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Department of Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.


Polymorphisms of ATP2B4 encoding an ubiquitous Ca(2+) pump protect against severe childhood malaria. We assessed the influence of a main polymorphism (rs10900585) on malaria among 834 delivering Ghanaian women. In homozygous primiparae, the odds of placental Plasmodium falciparum infection were reduced by 64%. No influence of the polymorphism on parasite density, low birth weight, or preterm delivery was discernible. However, malarial anemia was greatly reduced in primiparous carriers of the variant allele, paralleling the reduced impact of malaria on hemoglobin levels in this group. A common ATP2B4 polymorphism protects against malaria in pregnancy and related maternal anemia, suggesting ATP2B4 variant associated protection not to be limited to severe childhood malaria.

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