sickle cell anaemia

sickle cell anaemia
Disease common in races of people from areas in which malaria is endemic. The cause is a point mutation in haemoglobin (valine instead of glutamic acid at position 6), and the altered haemoglobin (HbS) crystallises readily at low oxygen tension. In consequence, erythrocytes from homozygotes change from the normal discoid shape to a sickled shape when the oxygen tension is low, and these sickled cells become trapped in capillaries or damaged in transit, leading to severe anaemia. In heterozygotes, the disadvantages of the abnormal haemoglobin are apparently outweighed by increased resistance to Plasmodium falciparum malaria, probably because parasitised cells tend to sickle and are then removed from circulation.

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sickle-cell anaemia — noun a congenital form of anemia occurring mostly in blacks; characterized by abnormal blood cells having a crescent shape • Syn: ↑sickle cell anemia, ↑sickle cell disease, ↑crescent cell anemia, ↑crescent cell anaemia, ↑drepanocytic anemia,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • sickle-cell anaemia — N UNCOUNT Sickle cell anaemia is an inherited illness in which the red blood cells become curved, causing a number of health problems. (in AM, use sickle cell anemia) …   English dictionary

  • sickle-cell anaemia — sickle cell a naemia BrE sickle cell anemia AmE n [U] a serious illness that mainly affects black people, in which the blood cells change shape, causing weakness and fever …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sickle cell anaemia — noun A severe hereditary form of anaemia, mainly affecting people of African origin, in which mutated haemoglobin distorts red blood cells into a crescent shape, causing the cells to become stuck in capillaries. Downstream tissues are thus… …   Wiktionary

  • sickle-cell anaemia — (also sickle cell disease) noun a severe hereditary form of anaemia in which a mutated form of haemoglobin distorts the red blood cells into a crescent shape at low oxygen levels …   English new terms dictionary

  • sickle-cell anaemia — noun A disease characterized by sickle shaped red blood cells. Syn: sickle cell disease …   Wiktionary

  • sickle-cell anaemia — BrE, sickle cell anemia AmE noun (U) a serious illness that mainly affects black people, in which the blood cells change shape, causing weakness and fever …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • sickle-cell anaemia — /ˌsɪkəl sɛl əˈnimiə/ (say .sikuhl sel uh neemeeuh) noun a hereditary disease characterised by the crystallisation of sickle cells within erythrocytes, distorting them and clogging blood vessels …   Australian-English dictionary

  • sickle-cell anaemia — UK / US noun [uncountable] a blood disease that mainly affects black people …   English dictionary

  • sickle-celled anaemia — sickle cell anaemia or sickle celled anaemia noun (also called sickleˈmia) a severe hereditary anaemia, mainly affecting black people, in which the red blood cells become distorted into a sickle shape and are subsequently destroyed by the body s… …   Useful english dictionary

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