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Use of Mosquito Preventive Measures is Associated with Increased RBC CR1 Levels in a Malaria Holoendemic Area of Western Kenya

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  • Department of Public Health Sciences, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania; The Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

Malaria is responsible for close to 1 million deaths each year, mostly among African children. Red blood cells (RBCs) of children with severe malarial anemia show loss of complement regulatory proteins such as complement receptor 1 (CR1). We carried out this study to identify socio-economic, environmental, and biological factors associated with the loss of RBC CR1. A cross-sectional study was conducted in a malaria holoendemic area of western Kenya. Twelve socioeconomic, environmental, and biological factors were examined for a relationship with RBC CR1 level using bivariate linear regression followed by creation of a multivariate linear regression model. A significant positive relationship between RBC CR1 level and use of mosquito countermeasures was found. However, there was no evidence of a significant relationship between RBC CR1 level and malaria infection or parasitemia level. Reducing mosquito exposure may aid in the prevention of severe malarial anemia by reducing the number of infections and thus preserving RBC CR1.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to José A. Stoute, 500 University Drive MC H036, Rm 6860, Hershey, PA 17033. E-mail: jstoute@psu.edu

Financial support: This work was supported in part by a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01 HL 7502), José A. Stoute PI. Walter Otieno was supported by a training grant from the Fogarty International Center (1 D43 TW06239).

Authors' addresses: Christine King and Ping Du, Penn State College of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, Hershey, PA, E-mails: christine.margaret.king@gmail.com and pdu@phs.psu.edu. Walter Otieno, Kenya Medical Research Institute, U.S. Army Medical Research Unit, Nairobi, Kenya, E-mail: walter66@gmail.com. José A. Stoute, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, E-mail: jsoute@psu.edu.

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