Letters Sickle cell disease

Malarial chemoprophylaxis

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a1875 (Published 01 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1875
  1. Kelsey D J Jones, NIHR academic clinical fellow in paediatrics1
  1. 1Department of Paediatric Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Imperial College, London W2 1PG
  1. kelseyjones{at}gmail.com

    Education on the risks of malarial illness in children with sickle cell disease should occur alongside routine penicillin prophylaxis and immunisation—a public health message that was not discussed in de Montalembert’s review.1 Children with sickle cell disease are at increased risk of severe malaria associated with enhanced haemolysis.2 3 Inadequate chemoprophylaxis among short term travellers visiting friends and family abroad is responsible for the bulk of imported childhood malaria in the United Kingdom.4

    Families should be counselled about the additional risks for children with sickle cell disease, and practitioners should emphasise the incomplete protective nature of sickle cell trait.5 Practical mosquito avoidance measures alongside chemoprophylaxis are beneficial for everyone travelling to endemic areas.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1875


    • Competing interests: None declared.


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