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Anemia Offers Stronger Protection than Sickle Cell Trait Against the Erythrocytic Stage of Falciparum Malaria and this Protection is Reversed by Iron Supplementation

This study, conducted in The Gambia, explored the protective nature of iron deficiency anemia against malaria. Findings showed that anemia, more so than sickle-cell trait, hindered the growth of P. falciparum in vitro. After 49 days of iron supplementation through micronutrient powders, malaria parasite growth more than doubled compared to baseline. These results have programmatic implications: iron supplementation should be accompanied by strong malaria control measures.

Goheen, M., et. al., EBioMedicine (December 2016).