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Health Agencies Update
July 27, 2005

Malaria Vaccine Clue

JAMA. 2005;294(4):418. doi:10.1001/jama.294.4.418-d

Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have discovered why individuals with a certain type of hemoglobin in their blood are less prone to severe malaria. The investigators found naturally protective effects of hemoglobin C that can impair malaria parasites (Fairhurst et al. Nature. 2005;435:1117-1121). While hemoglobin A is the most common form of hemoglobin, one fourth of individuals in parts of West Africa (where malaria is endemic) has at least one gene for hemoglobin C.

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