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Reference: Thomas N. Williams, Tabitha W. Mwangi, David J. Roberts et al., (2005). An immune basis for malaria protection by the sickle cell trait. PLoS Medicine, 2 (5), Article: e128.Citable link to this page:


An immune basis for malaria protection by the sickle cell trait

Abstract: Background: Malaria resistance by the sickle cell trait (genotype HbAS) has served as the prime example of genetic selection for over half a century. Nevertheless, the mechanism of this resistance remains the subject of considerable debate. While it probably involves innate factors such as the reduced ability of Plasmodium falciparum parasites to grow and multiply in HbAS erythrocytes, recent observations suggest that it might also involve the accelerated acquisition of malaria-specific immunity.Methods and findings: We studied the age-specific protection afforded by HbAS against clinical malaria in children living on the coast of Kenya. We found that protection increased with age from only 20% in the first 2 y of life to a maximum of 56% by the age of 10 y, returning thereafter to 30% in participants greater than 10 y old.Conclusions: Our observations suggest that malaria protection by HbAS involves the enhancement of not only innate but also acquired immunity to the parasite. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms might yield important insights into both these processes.

Publication status:PublishedPeer Review status:Peer reviewedVersion:Publisher's versionNotes:Citation: Williams, T. N. et al. (2005). 'An immune basis for malaria protection by the sickle cell trait', PLoS Medicine, 2(5): e128. [Available at]. Copyright 2005 Williams et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Bibliographic Details

Publisher: Public Library of Science

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Host: PLoS Medicinesee more from them

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Issue Date: 2005-May

Copyright Date: 2005

pages:Article: e128Identifiers


Issn: 1549-1277

Eissn: 1549-1676

Urn: uuid:f7b44c21-c306-43f9-b650-1015fa26b254 Item Description

Type: Article: post-print;

Language: en

Version: Publisher's versionKeywords: Sickle cell trait HbAS red blood cells immune processes malaria protection KenyaSubjects: Infectious diseases Malaria Paediatrics Tiny URL: ora:2396


Author: Thomas N. Williams - institutionUniversity of Oxford, Kenya Medical Research Institute- Wellcome Trust Programme, Centre for Geog



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