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Increased susceptibility of blood type O individuals to develop anemia in Plasmodium vivax infection

Resende, Sarah Stela, Milagres, Vanessa Gonçalves, Chaves, Daniel Gonçalves, Fontes, Cor Jesus Fernandes, Carvalho, Luzia Helena, Sousa, Tais Nobrega, Brito, Cristiana Ferreira Alves de
Infection, genetics, and evolution 2017 v.50 pp. 87-92
Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, anemia, blood groups, erythrocytes, genes, genotyping, hematocrit, hemoglobin, humans, malaria, pathogenesis, patients, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, regression analysis, restriction fragment length polymorphism, single nucleotide polymorphism
Plasmodium vivax has been reported to cause severe malaria, and one of the main resulting complications is anemia. Considering that P. vivax infects only young erythrocytes, anemia has been associated with the destruction of infected and non-infected erythrocytes. However, few studies have focused on understanding the relationship between the pathogenesis of P. vivax malaria and human genetic polymorphisms. Although ABO groups seem to influence the outcome of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, the association between P. vivax and ABO blood groups has been minimally investigated. Thus, we investigate the correlation between ABO blood groups and anemia induced by P. vivax infection. Five single nucleotide polymorphisms at the ABO gene were genotyped by PCR-RFLP and Real-Time PCR in P. vivax-infected subjects. The ABO blood types were associated with the hematological data of the patients. Our main finding was that type O infected-individuals showed lower levels of hemoglobin and hematocrit compared to type A-infected individuals. The correlation between ABO blood groups and hemoglobin levels remained significant when a multiple linear regression was applied with the possible confounding effects of clinical-epidemiologic variables taken into account. The finding that type O individuals have a higher frequency of anemia is a first step to understand the mechanisms involved in malaria anemia, which could be associated to increased destruction of type O erythrocytes.