Identification of high-risk groups of falciparum malaria in western region of Ghana: The predictive value of ABO Blood group typology
Background: Several studies have linked malaria to ABO blood groups with still others reporting insignificant association between ABO blood group system and malaria. Blood group ‘O’ has been shown to confer protection against severe malaria by studies in various populations but indecisive reports have been given about non-O blood groups in relation to their protection or vulnerability to severe malaria.
Objective: The present study sought to investigate the ABO blood group typology and the risk of developing severe malaria.
Materials and Methods: A total of 280 participants (140) with P. Falciparum malaria patients and 140 healthy controls) screened for ABO blood groups by Tile method were enrolled into the study. Thick and thin blood films stained with 10 % Giemsa were prepared for falciparum – infected individuals and their full blood counts obtained from the haematology analyzer (Cell Dyn 1800, Abbot Diagnostic Division, USA). Parasite counts were categorized into severe and uncomplicated malaria and further grouped into varying degrees of parasitaemia. The effects of parasite densities on some haematological parameters were then studied. Severe malaria was defined as hyperparasitaemia, malarial anaemia and thrombocytopenia.
Results: The frequency of blood group ‘A’ was significantly higher in patients with severe malaria compared to other blood groups (p = 0.042). Blood groups ‘A’ and ‘B’ showed higher parasite densities while ‘A’ and ‘AB’ blood groups revealed low platelet counts. Anaemia was severe in blood groups ‘A’ and ‘O’ (p ≤ 0.05). Previous studies including this current one highlighted the protected nature of blood group ‘O’ to severe malaria (p ≤ 0.05).
Conclusion: The present study provides the evidences that, individuals of blood group ‘A’ are highly susceptible to malaria infection and inferably with an increased risk of developing severe malaria than the other blood groups.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Paulina Ampomah, Erica Buadii, Benjamin Aboagye
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