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February 1961

Primaquine Sensitivity of Erythrocytes

Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Pediatrics The Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore 5, Md.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(2):151-153. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620020001001

The recent surge of interest in genetics has been associated with the remarkable development of biochemical techniques. These methods have enabled us to comprehend the action of the genes in terms of their relationship to protein specificity and ultimately of their control over rates of metabolic reactions. The genetic analytical method, on the other hand, brings homogeneity out of confusion, circumscribes and delineates problems, and poses the questions which biochemistry must answer.

An illustration is the recent discovery of a unitary basis for a number of apparently unrelated drug-induced hemolytic anemias.1,2 First to see these problems as one were the group at the University of Chicago working under the direction of A. S. Alving. Their investigations revealed that a number of drugs could cause hemolysis of the erythrocytes of some Negroes, while those of white persons were spared. They also described certain biochemical characteristics of the sensitive erythrocytes, of