Malaria Parasites Detected in Myanmar Thalassemia Patients
We examined the existence of malaria parasite carriers in 186 Myanmar transfusion dependent anemic patients with thalassemia mutations. Two malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) and P. vivax (Pv), were detected by the PCR method using a multiplex primer set. Six patients were infected with Pf, and seven with Pv. The β-thalassemia (thal) genotypes and hemoglobinopathies were as follows ; combination homozygote and/or heterozygote with Hb E and (β°-thal or [β-thal, β°-thal and β°-thal, or β°-thal and β-thal. Among these patients, one had Hb H disease, one α-thal of the Southeast Asian genotype, and one a combination heterozygote of β°-thal with α-thal-2. Although they were Pf or Pv carriers, they manifested no clinical symptoms due to malaria infection. Therefore, it might be suggested that thal patients have resistance to malaria.