Anemia Offers Stronger Protection Than Sickle Cell Trait Against the Erythrocytic Stage of Falciparum Malaria and This Protection Is Reversed by Iron Supplementation

05 Jan 2017M.M. Goheen, R. Wegmüller, A. Bah, B. Darboe, E. Danso, M. Affara, D. Gardner, J.C. Patel, A.M. Prentice, C. Cerami.

These results confirm and quantify a plausible mechanism by which anemia protects African children against falciparum malaria, an effect that is substantially greater than the protection offered by sickle-cell trait. Iron supplementation completely reversed the observed protection and hence should be accompanied by malaria prophylaxis. Lower hemoglobin levels typically seen in populations of African descent may reflect past genetic selection by malaria.

Cohort Study
1 effect
2 months
135 subjects

Reported Outcomes


Anemia Lymphatic outcome
Lymphatic system

Malaria Lymphatic outcome
Minor decreased risk of Malaria
Lymphatic system

Moderate evidence