Volume 78, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Several associations between specific HLA alleles and susceptibility or resistance to malaria have been previously reported, but no associations have been confirmed in multiple populations. We studied associations between HLA-A, -B, and DRB1 alleles and severe malaria in northern Ghana. We analyzed HLA-DRB1*04 in 4,032 subjects from a severe malaria case-control study, 790 severe malaria cases, 1,611 mild malaria controls, and 1631 asymptomatic controls. The presence of HLA-DRB1*04 was associated with severe malaria (OR = 2.42, 95% CI = 1.64, 3.58). The allele frequency of DRB1*04 was similar in the two major ethnic groups in the study population, Kassem (4.4%) and Nankam (4.7%), and the OR for the association between DRB1*04 and severe malaria was similar in both ethnic groups. These findings are consistent with results from Gabon suggesting that DRB1*04 is a risk factor for severe malaria.


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  • Received : 10 May 2007
  • Accepted : 17 Jul 2007

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