sickle cell , malaria

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sickle cell , malaria

Post by michyd » Sat May 30, 2009 10:35 pm

hello , would anyone be able to help?

sickle cell trait provides some protection against malaria. If somone with sickle cell was now to contract malaria, would they still need to to take some form of anti-malaria dose???

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Post by Darby » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:31 pm

You've answered your own question with the term "some protection."

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Re: sickle cell , malaria

Post by anitapangz » Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:55 am

from what i know and learned, sickle cell causes erythrocyte to shape abnormally (like sickle). because Plasmodium (protozoans which cause malaria) attacks and live in erythrocyte in one of their life stages, unusual shape of cell stops Plasmodium from living there. sickle-shaped erythrocyte also has abnormal protein that is different from healthy cell, which inhibits Plasmodium from developing there.
sickle cell is caused by recessive alleles, that's why a heterozygote person still has normal red blood cell, but is better protected against malaria than a homozygote dominant person.
it is more common to find heterozygotes nowadays because of a mechanism called "stabilizing selection". it cuts off the homozygotes part and preserves heterozygote individuals because perhaps heterozygotes are more favorable to environment. that is part of natural selection and evolution.
however, homozygote recessive person cannot develop malaria at all but on the other hand, get sickle cell disease.

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