Hemoglobinopathies and Malaria Infection in Myanmar

Screening for the incidences of hemoglobinopathies (Hb E, α-thalassemia (thal) and β-thal) and malaria infection was done in 131 healthy volunteers with no clinical symptoms in Shan State in Myanmar. The group consisted of 71 females and 60 males ranging in age from 16 to 46 years old. The analysis of hemoglobin was carried out using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and isoelectric focusing (IEF), and DNA analysis was done by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-electrophoresis. The incidences of carriers of Hb E, α-thal and β-thal were 17.6%, 7.6% and 0.8%, respectively. The thal genotypes observed were -α3'7, which is an α-thal-2 mutation, and CD17A→T, which is a β0-thal mutation. Both are common mutations in Myanmar. There were only three (2.3%) carriers of two malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) and Plasmodium vivax (Pv) ; namely one female carrier of Pf and two male carriers of Pv. Although it was suspected that the incidence of subjects infected with malaria would be high, there was comparatively small number of cases. This may be the reason why the blood sample collection from the volunteers was done during the dry season which is not the breeding season for malaria mosquitos.

Than A, et al