Characterization of ABO / Rhesus Antigen Polymorphism Associated with Malaria in a Malaria Hotspot in Bayelsa State, Niger Delta, Nigeria

Faith Ajiebabhio Ogbole *

Biochemistry Unit, Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Africa, Toru – Orua, Bayelsa State, Nigeria and Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

Chidi Uzoma Igwe

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

Henrietta Chinyere Onuoha

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

Chiamaka Perpetua Nzebude

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Aim: The aim of the present study was to characterize the role of ABO/Rhesus blood group antigen polymorphism in malaria among adults in Bayelsa State, Niger Delta, Nigeria. The pattern of distribution of ABO/Rhesus antigen polymorphism in the area was also assessed.

Materials and Methods: Two hundred and six adults (91 males and 115 females) were randomly selected for the study and they were examined for the presence of malaria parasite infection and illness as well as for type of ABO/Rhesus antigen polymorphism using real time PCR-high resolution melting analysis, clinical malaria indicators and agglutination methods respectively. The density of malaria parasitemia was evaluated using microscopy and socio-demographic variables were collected using a structured questionnaire. Multinomial logistics regression and one way ANOVA tests were used to assess the difference between frequencies and means, respectively.

Results: Showed that the distribution of ABO/Rhesus antigen polymorphism were in the following order: blood group O, 50% (O+ 47.57%; O- 2.43%), blood group B, 21.36% (B+, 20.39%; B-, 0.97%), blood group A, 18.93% (A+, 18.93%, A-, 0%), and blood group AB (AB+, 9.71%, AB-, 0%). Among severe malaria subjects, ABO antigen polymorphism distribution were A, 29%; B, 57%; AB, 5% and O, 10%. Among mild malaria subjects, ABO antigen polymorphism distribution were A, 36%; B, 33%; AB, 23% and O, 8%. Among asymptomatic malaria subjects, ABO antigen polymorphism distribution were A, 12%; B, 12%; AB, 7% and O, 69% of the subjects respectively. Among uninfected subjects, ABO antigen polymorphism distribution were A, 20%; B, 20%; AB, 7% and O, 53%. Each ABO blood group antigen was associated with asymptomatic malaria, while blood group A, B, and AB were associated with mild malaria and only blood group B was associated with severe malaria (P < 0.05). Parasite density showed no association with ABO Blood group.

Conclusion: ABO blood group antigen polymorphism was associated with malaria. Blood group O conferred protection against mild and severe malaria, while blood group B conferred susceptibility to severe malaria. Prevention and treatment of malaria in relation to ABO blood groups is implicated in the present study.

Keywords: Blood groups, HRM-analysis, malaria, Sagbama, Bayelsa

How to Cite

Ogbole, F. A., Igwe, C. U., Onuoha, H. C., & Nzebude, C. P. (2023). Characterization of ABO / Rhesus Antigen Polymorphism Associated with Malaria in a Malaria Hotspot in Bayelsa State, Niger Delta, Nigeria. International Journal of Biochemistry Research & Review, 32(7), 42–52.


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