NATURAL RESISTANCES FOR MALARIA

There are a few natural resistances to malaria but those who have it know that it comes with a price as you will discover as you look down the list of resistances.

 

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SICKLE CELL ANEMIA

sickle cell anemia is a big defence and is the most common but it has its down sides too. the homozygotes (AA) are perfectly fine but the others (SS) are in for a hard life. Many don't reach the age for reproduction. The hetrozygotes (AS) have some drawbacks like pale skin or finding it hard to breath but they are resistant to malaria.

a picture of an affected cell. (defiers.com)

 

 

STICKY BLOOD

Another resistance for sticky blood. It is found all over the world and is a proven defence against malaria. In Papua New Guinea 80% of the population have the mutated gene for sticky blood. It works by stopping the blood sticking together and clogging up the blood vessels when you have malaria. It is currently being used to make a vaccine for malaria.

DUFFY BLOOD PROTECTION

The duffy blood protection is only useful against the vivax strain of malaria. This strain of malaria affects people who are duffy positive. Along the west coast of Africa the disease is nearly eradicated since most of the population of the west coast of Africa are duffy negative so the disease is redundant.

FAVISM

Favism or g6pd (glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase) is quite rare and has its drawbacks. It is a hereditary abnormality which affects the red blood cell enzyme g6pd. It is carried on the X chromosome so that means males are more susceptible to it. It is more prevalent in Africa but it is also found in the mediterranean.

THALASSEMIA

Thalassemia is an inherited disease which is a group of inherited anaemias and the most common types are alpha and beta. People with African, Italian, and mid - eastern origins are more prone to getting it. The alpha type gives you resistance to malaria with very few drawbacks but the beta type gives you little resistance with a whole load of things to hinder you. Over 100,000 people every year are born with it, either minor or major (the major is also called Cooley's anemia).

infomation from ghr.nlm.nih.gov (thalassemia) rialto.com (favism) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov (duffy blood) bbc.co.uk (sticky blood)