Is AA genotype actually responsible for frequent malaria?
Apparently, a good number of people are of the opinion that people with AA genotype are prone to malaria and other diseases.
So, this Nigerian Twitter user (@Dorchess) took to Twitter to express her frustration in a post she captioned “Dear Lord, please in my next life, I do not want to be AA. Malaria is disturbing my life.”
Although, Dorchess’s post had an epic reply from another Twitter user who would rather have an AA genotype as compared to his AS status, Instagram users, however, can’t seem to conclude on what the cause of this often sickness might be.
While some are of the opinion that it is incorrect to say that being AA genotype makes you prone to malaria, others couldn’t agree more with the contrary.
So, here’s the question. Is a person’s genotype responsible for making him/her fall sick regularly?
According to an assessment carried out at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Nigeria where children were screened for malaria parasitemia – falciparum malaria, blood group, hemoglobin genotypes.
It was discovered that children with genotype AA (92.3%) were more susceptible to Malaria Parasite than AS (5.1%) and SS (2.6%).
Researchers over the years have shown that malaria parasites have a high rate of oxygen consumption and ingest large amounts of hemoglobin, during the peripheral blood stage of replication.
This is what makes the AA blood more conducive, because AA red blood cells have normal hemoglobin (in structure and quantity) meaning a higher oxygen binding capacity -fueling the parasite’s replication process.
Although studies suggest that AA genotype are more prone to malaria than the others, it is only important to know that the rate at which you get down with malaria is dependent on personal hygiene and adequate preventive measures in place.
You can’t get malaria if you aren’t bitten by mosquitoes, the female anopheles mosquitoes, which is the carrier of malaria, in this case.
So, irrespective of your genotype, it is absolutely important to protect yourself from mosquitoes (by sleeping in a mosquito net and spraying your room with insecticides to get rid of mosquitoes).