Infectious Diseases in Sickle Cell Disease Working Group

Co-Chairs: Stephen Obaro (USA) and Tom Williams (Kenya)

Overview

The focus of this group is to define and study problems relating to infections of sickle cell disease patients, particularly malaria and pneumococcal infections.

Malaria

More reliable data on malarial infections in SCD patients is needed to establish the role of malaria as a cause of febrile illness and mortality in children. 

Further research is needed to clarify the protective effect of SCD, if any, against severe forms of malaria infections. 

Pneumococcal infections

SCD patients with fulminant pneumococcal bacteremia may die before they reach a hospital for confirmation of infection. If is because of this more evidence-based incidence studies are needed. 

In Africa, laboratory facilities for the diagnosis of invasive pneumococcal infections are limited to a few major tertiary hospitals. This poses a major barrier to establishing the true incidence of invasive pneumococcal infections.

Also programs implementing wide spread vaccination against pneumococcal infections need to be established.

Follow-up and educational programs to prevent and treat infection should be available.