Alex W Macharia

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BACKGROUND The alpha-thalassaemias are the commonest genetic disorders of humans. It is generally believed that this high frequency reflects selection through a survival advantage against death from malaria; nevertheless, the epidemiological description of the relationships between alpha-thalassaemia, malaria, and other common causes of child mortality(More)
BACKGROUND In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 90% of children with sickle-cell anaemia die before the diagnosis can be made. The causes of death are poorly documented, but bacterial sepsis is probably important. We examined the risk of invasive bacterial diseases in children with sickle-cell anaemia. METHODS This study was undertaken in a rural area on the(More)
BACKGROUND Sickle cell disease (SCD) is common in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where it is associated with high early mortality. In the absence of newborn screening, most deaths among children with SCD go unrecognized and unrecorded. As a result, SCD does not receive the attention it deserves as a leading cause of death among children in SSA. In(More)
BACKGROUND Controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) studies are a vital tool to accelerate vaccine and drug development. As CHMI trials are performed in a controlled environment, they allow unprecedented, detailed evaluation of parasite growth dynamics (PGD) and immunological responses. However, CHMI studies have not been routinely performed in(More)
Although inherited blood disorders are common among children in many parts of Africa, limited data are available about their prevalence or contribution to childhood anaemia. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 858 children aged 6-35 months who were randomly selected from 60 villages in western Kenya. Haemoglobin (Hb), ferritin, malaria, C-reactive(More)
The relationship between glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency and clinical phenomena such as primaquine-sensitivity and protection from severe malaria remains poorly defined, with past association studies yielding inconsistent and conflicting results. One possibility is that examination of a single genetic variant might underestimate the(More)
BACKGROUND The global prevalence of X-linked glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is thought to be a result of selection by malaria, but epidemiological studies have yielded confusing results. We investigated the relationships between G6PD deficiency and both malaria and non-malarial illnesses among children in Kenya. METHODS We did this(More)
BACKGROUND Severe anemia (SA, hemoglobin <6 g/dl) is a leading cause of pediatric hospital admission in Africa, with significant in-hospital mortality. The underlying etiology is often infectious, but specific pathogens are rarely identified. Guidelines developed to encourage rational blood use recommend a standard volume of whole blood (20 ml/kg) for(More)
BACKGROUND Frozen blood clots remaining after serum collection is an often disregarded source of host and pathogen DNA due to troublesome handling and suboptimal outcome. METHODS High-speed shaking of clot samples in a cell disruptor manufactured for homogenization of tissue and faecal specimens was evaluated for processing frozen blood clots for DNA(More)
Polymorphisms of the haptoglobin (HP) gene and deletions in alpha-globin gene (alpha-thalassaemia) are common in malaria-endemic Africa. The same region also has high incidence rates for childhood acute seizures. The haptoglobin HP2-2 genotype has been associated with idiopathic generalized epilepsies and altered iron metabolism in children with(More)