Introduction βE-globin gene is the major variant haemoglobin prevalent among the autochthonous population of Assam, India, with variable gene frequencies. The gene frequency for this variant haemoglobin is as high as 0.6 in some of the ethnic groups. The geo-climatic condition of the area also facilitates transmission of Plasmodium falciparum in this part of the country. Distribution pattern of βE-globin gene among autochthonous inhabitants inhabiting in malaria endemic and non-endemic zones was evaluated.
Methods Blood sample were collected from Kachari communities (Bodo & Mech) inhabiting in malaria endemic (n=669) and non-endemic zones (n=202) adopting stratified random sampling method. Individual samples were screened for Red Cell Indices by automated haematology cell counter and HPLC based Variant Haemoglobin Testing System were used for the detection of variant haemoglobins and thalassaemias.
Results Red Blood Cell indices indicated lower level of haemoglobin, Mean Cell Volume (MCV) and Mean Cell Haemoglobin (MCH) in subject carrying βE-globin gene. Gene frequency of βE-globin gene in malaria endemic and non endemic zone was 0.586 and 0.483 respectively. However, distribution of βE-globin gene is increased in malaria endemic zone. In malaria endemic zone, Hb F level in subject carrying βE-globin gene was significantly differed from non-endemic zone.
Conclusion Significant difference of distribution pattern of βE-globin gene and higher level of Hb F in subject carrying βE- globin gene in malaria endemic zone is the striking outcome of the study.
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