, Volume 101, Issue 6, pp 1463-1469
Date: 16 Sep 2007

Pathogenesis of anemia in malaria: a concise review

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Anemia is a common complication in malarial infection, although the consequences are more pronounced with Plasmodium falciparum malaria (Ghosh, Indian J Hematol Blood Tranfus 21(53):128–130, 2003). Anemia in this infection is caused by a variety of pathophysiologic mechanisms, and in areas where malaria infection is endemic, co-morbidities like other parasitic infestations, iron, folate and Vitamin B12 deficiency, deficiency of other nutrients, and anemia, which is aggravated by anti-malarial drugs both through immune and non-immune mechanisms, are important considerations. In different endemic areas, β-thalassemia, α-thalassemia, Hb S, Hb E, G6PD deficiency, or ovalocytosis in different proportions interact with this infection. Finally, aberrant immune response to repeated or chronic falciparum malarial infection may produce tropical splenomegaly syndrome, a proportion of which show clonal proliferation of B lymphocytes. Cooperation between chronic malarial infection and infection with E-B virus infection in producing Burkitt’s lymphoma is well known. In this review, the fascinating and multifaceted pathophysiolgoy of malarial anemia has been discussed.