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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 141  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 516-520

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency among tribal populations of India - Country scenario

National Institute of Immunohaematology (ICMR), Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
Malay B Mukherjee
National Institute of Immunohaematology (ICMR), 13[th] Floor, NMS Building, KEM Hospital campus, Parel, Mumbai 400 012, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.159499

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It is believed that the tribal people, who constitute 8.6 per cent of the total population (2011 census of India), are the original inhabitants of India. Glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is an X-linked genetic defect, affecting around 400 million people worldwide and is characterized by considerable biochemical and molecular heterogeneity. Deficiency of this enzyme is highly polymorphic in those areas where malaria is/has been endemic. G6PD deficiency was reported from India more than 50 years ago. t0 he prevalence varies from 2.3 to 27.0 per cent with an overall prevalence of 7.7 per cent in different tribal groups. Since the tribal populations live in remote areas where malaria is/has been endemic, irrational use of antimalarial drugs could result in an increased number of cases with drug induced haemolysis. Therefore, before giving antimalarial therapy, routine screening for G6PD deficiency should be undertaken in those tribal communities where its prevalence is high.

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