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SAO associated with reduced risk of vivax malaria in children

16 September 2012

Three independent studies undertaken in Papua New Guinea revealed strong associations between the SAO genetic defect (SLC4A1Δ27) and protection against P. vivax malaria in infants and children. The way in which the SAO defect infers protection is still unknown. The findings suggest that P. vivax may have contributed to unique host-parasite adaptations in the region.

The findings are published in PLoS Medicine:  Rosanas-Urgell A, Lin E, Manning L, Rarau P, Laman M, et al. (2012) Reduced Risk of Plasmodium vivax Malaria in Papua New Guinean Children with Southeast Asian Ovalocytosis in Two Cohorts and a Case-Control Study. PLoS Med 9(9): e1001305. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001305.

Additional coverage:
LA Times: www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-gene-mutation-malaria-20120905,0,6659326.story