Genetic regulation of the iron-infection axis
Severe anemia and iron deficiency remain major causes of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Low cost iron supplements can be efficacious in combatting iron deficiency anemia but are problematic. Iron is not absorbed during acute infection and the malign interaction between iron and pathogens indicates a need for targeted implementation of treatment.
Our research aims to identify genetic variants that affect phenotype variations of iron absorption and metabolism. Such variants will be used as genetic tools to gain insights into the molecular mechanisms of iron homeostasis in Gambians and populations living in similar environments where iron deficiency and high infectious disease burden coexist.