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Title: Comparative Analysis of Sickle Cell Frequency In Malaria Epidemic Regions In Kenya
Authors: Ongeri, Richard Moronge
Keywords: cell frequency malaria epidemic
Issue Date: Oct-2011
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: The spread and correlation of malaria and sickle cell in the lowlands and highlands had not been studied. The study results of incidences, frequency and pathological association of malaria, sickle hemoglobin and anemia in the Kenyan highlands and lowlands are presented. These diseases have always been associated to the lowlands where they cause devastating human suffering but according to this study both the highlands and lowlands have been found to be affected. Blood samples were collected from patients in hospitals and institutions. hi each case 2 mls blood were collected into anticoagulant ethylene-diamine-tetra-acid (EDTA) vacutainer tubes and analyzed in the laboratory. Field staining technique was used to identify malaria parasites, hemoglobin levels were determined by cyanmethaemoglobin technique and characterization of sickle cell variants ‘was done by electrophoresis on cellulose acetate at alkaline pH of 8.9. Malaria, a deadly parasitic disease was found among samples which had sickle cell genotypes in the lowlands and highlands. These two diseases were found in red blood cells of infected individuals whose hemoglobin levels were also low. Sickle hemoglobin variants, heterozygous sickle hemoglobin HbAS and homozygous sickle hemoglobin HbSS were found in the two study regions with HbAS forming the majority of the cases. Of the 13 Sickle cell variants identified, (HbAS) was found to be high by 10 (69%) as compared to 3 (31%) (HbSS) in all the samples that were analyzed. In this study the frequency of sickle cell variants and malaria in selected malaria endemic and epidemic regions were determined with great margin differences between the two diseases. Sickle cell variants were found to be (4.29%) and that of malaria (9.57%) respectively. These findings were far below the 28% for sickle cell and 40% for malaria that is documented in Kenya. Kenyan highlands have been known to harbor low incidences of malaria with no case of sickle cell reported or compared with malaria. The frequency of sickle cell variants in selected malaria epidemic highland districts were determined and correlated with malaria endemic lowland Kisumu district. From this study it has been established that there are high cases of malaria in the highland areas and concomitant infections of malaria and sickle cell diseases have been found to be associated and therefore the need to develop mechanisms of monitoring, screening, preventing and treating these diseases.
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