People with blood group Zero suffer less often from severe Malaria

Malaria is one of the most deadly diseases, almost half of the world’s population is threatened. A new Review indicates that persons with blood group 0 become ill less difficult. This could be a reason why, in heavily affected regions, more people live with this blood group.

In areas South of the Sahara, where by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum-induced severe Malaria occurs more often, live far more people with blood group 0 than in Europe or in the United States. In Nigeria, more than half of the population has this blood group, and in many other Malaria-plagued countries, the Figures are similar.

According to the epidemiologists Abraham Degarege Mengist this is no coincidence, but a consequence of the Evolution: 15 of 23 studies that had evaluated his Team, suggested that people are protected with the blood group 0 is better against severe Malaria than people of blood groups A, B, or AB. Conversely, more than half of the studies found that severe Malaria occurred significantly more often in patients who did not have a blood group other than 0.

"To understand now where we start looking at the mechanisms, the manner in which the blood group, the progression can influence disease, we are exploring various options that can help people in regions where Malaria is endemic ist", Mengist said. This could be, for example, the Transfusion of blood of the type 0. These red blood cells tend to in the case of a malaria infection, and less to form aggregates of cells, so that antibodies may work better. Also, such a cell can lump in severe cases, blood vessels become blocked, which can lead to coma, brain damage and even death.

Each year, more than 400,000 people die of Malaria, most of them are children under five years of age.