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Advances in Hematology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5368793, 4 pages
Research Article

Relative Susceptibilities of ABO Blood Groups to Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in Ghana

1Department of Biomedical and Forensic Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
2University Hospital, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
3Vector Genetics Laboratory, Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute, Atomic Energy Commission, Accra, Ghana

Received 21 November 2015; Revised 19 January 2016; Accepted 20 January 2016

Academic Editor: Aldo Roccaro

Copyright © 2016 Richmond Afoakwah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The clinical outcome of falciparum malaria in endemic areas is influenced by erythrocyte polymorphisms including the ABO blood groups. Studies have reported association of ABO blood group to resistance, susceptibility, and severity of P. falciparum malaria infection. Individuals with blood group “A” have been found to be highly susceptible to falciparum malaria whereas blood group “O” is said to confer protection against complicated cases. We analyzed samples from 293 young children less than six years old with malaria in the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana. It was observed that group O was present in about 16.1% of complicated cases weighed against 40.9% of uncomplicated controls. Individuals with complicated malaria were about twice likely to be of blood groups A and B compared to group O (A versus O, OR = 1.90, 95% CI = 1.59–2.26, ; B versus O, OR = 1.82. 95% CI = 1.57–2.23, ). Blood group O participants with complicated diseases had low parasitaemia compared to the other blood groups (). This may give blood group O individuals a survival advantage over the other groups in complicated malaria as suggested. Participants with complicated falciparum malaria were generally anaemic and younger than those with uncomplicated disease.