Sickle Cell Anemia – Why Are Sickle Cell Patients More Prone to Infection?

Sickle Cell Anemia - Why Are Sickle Cell Patients More Prone to Infection?

This article provides an overview of what sickle cell anemia is, how it affects the body, and why people with sickle cell disease are more likely to contract infections. It also discusses the genetics of sickle cell anemia and the role of the spleen in bacterial sequestration. This article will also cover some of the symptoms and signs of sickle cell disease, including infections caused by Salmonella.

Salmonella infection

Salmonella infection is a common complication of sickle cell disease. It is a bacterium commonly found in the bones and is especially common in sickle cell patients. Salmonella osteomyelitis usually occurs in the diaphysis (long bones). One case of salmonella spondylodiscitis was isolated from the spine and was treated with an antibiotic regimen based on susceptibility results and clinical response.

Infection caused by salmonella occurs more frequently in sickle cell disease patients because of devitalised bowel walls and vascular sickling of the intestinal blood vessels. The devitalized areas in the bone marrow are prone to infection, especially when contaminated with blood-borne organisms. Infarcted areas have increased oxygen demand and devitalisation. The infection can persist in the bone marrow, where macrophages become loaded with breakdown products from RBCs.

In one study, a retrospective case note review was conducted in patients with Salmonella bacteraemia between 2006 and 2011. The researchers analyzed patient symptoms and illness chronology, as well as relevant imaging results. There were no deaths, but eight children developed liver and splenic abscesses. The disease-related complications were serious and the patients required antibiotic treatment and surgery. This case report was published in the journal Pediatric Infection, which is now the authoritative source for information about the pathogenesis and management of salmonella infections in sickle cell disease.

This study shows that a higher prevalence of non-typhoidal Salmonella infections among sickle cell disease patients living in Africa and Asia is largely due to the presence of a weakened reticuloendothelial system. Infections caused by non-typhoidal Salmonella bacteria can cause severe complications such as osteomyelitis and meningitis. Because these bacteria are often present in the gut, a deeper understanding of the pathogenesis of this disease may help to develop new approaches to control this serious infection.

Sequestration of bacteria in the spleen

Sickle cell disease affects the spleen, which can become enlarged and filled with blood. Because sickled red blood cells cannot move through the spleen, they can become trapped in the organ, resulting in septicemia and severe anemia. Sequestration of bacteria in the spleen can also result in an infection, and is a life-threatening emergency. The infection caused by a damaged spleen is often a streptocococcal infection.

If a child experiences splenic sequestration, they may also develop symptoms such as extreme anemia, pale lips, rapid breathing, and excessive thirst. They may also experience abdominal pain or pale skin. A severe case may even require a splenectomy, or removal of the spleen. If the infection is not caught early, it can lead to a relapse.

Infections mediated by Gram-negative bacteria can occur in children with SCD. As a result, the spleen has less capacity to trap blood-borne bacteria and is more susceptible to encapsulated bacteria. Prophylactic antibiotics and pneumococcal immunization can help reduce the risk of infection. However, despite the benefits of these treatments, the mortality rate remains high, as is the case with most invasive H. influenzae type b infections.

The spleen plays a crucial role in the immune response, filtering bloodborne pathogens and promoting adaptive and innate immunity. The impaired opsonization capacity of macrophages inhibits bacterial killing and causes inflammation. Macrophages present microbial antigens to T-lymphocytes, which stimulate B-lymphocytes to produce high-affinity antibodies.

Genetics of sickle cell anemia

Despite the widespread prevalence of the sickle cell trait, the exact cause of sickle cell disease is unknown. While it is likely that an alteration in one base of DNA causes the disease, other genetic and behavioral factors also influence the severity and sensitivity of the disease. Recent findings suggest that the discovery of intervention methods may accelerate. One example of this is a study by Piel et al. who performed preimplantation genetic diagnosis on seven human embryos.

The main cause of sickle cell disease is hereditary, and a carrier of the trait will have one copy of a sickle cell gene. The condition is caused by the inheritance of a variant hemoglobin gene from both parents. This state is called homozygous, and a person with this genotype will have red blood cells containing both HbA and HbS. This type of hemoglobin requires more deoxygenation to form sickling.

Those with the sickle cell trait are at a higher risk for the disease than other races. About one in every eight African Americans and one in three-to-four Afro-Caribbean infants are born with the trait. In addition, people with a Hispanic, Asian Indian, or southern European background are also more susceptible to sickle cell anemia. The severity of the disease depends on the type of abnormal hemoglobin in the blood. The type of sickle cell anemia is usually referred to as hemoglobin SS.

People with sickle cell anemia may benefit from genetic counseling to assess their risk for the disorder. Genetic counseling can explain the natural history of the disease, its symptoms, and treatment prospects. The genetic counseling process can also include prenatal genetic testing for sickle cell disease, a-thalassemia, or b-thalassemia. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis can be combined with in vitro fertilization (IVF).


People with sickle cell disease have enlarged spleens, difficulty moving red blood cells, and a sudden drop in hemoglobin. In addition to the obvious symptoms of the disease, SCD can lead to other complications such as severe skin ulcers and heart problems. This condition also puts individuals at risk for a second stroke. As a result, it is important to seek medical attention at the first sign of these symptoms.

Acute infections may cause a fever, a sudden weakness of the affected side, and pain in the upper left belly. Children may also experience painful erections. Some patients may also suffer leg ulcers that do not heal. Leg ulcers, especially those on the ankles, are another symptom of sickle cell disease. A patient with the condition may also experience shortness of breath, difficulty with walking, and a rapid heartbeat.

In addition to the common treatments for sickle cell disease, doctors may recommend other therapies, such as antibiotics and blood transfusions. Certain medications may be prescribed to reduce the number of complications caused by the disease, including acute chest syndrome, dactylitis, and gout. When combined with other treatments, sickle cell anemia may require surgery or blood transfusions. Patients may also need to take folic acid supplements to increase their immune system’s capacity.

In addition to anemia, sickle cells also cause leg ulcers and swollen hands and feet. Because sickle cells live for a short period of time, they may not be replaced in the body as quickly as they should. As a result, people with sickle cell anemia may have insufficient red blood cells. However, this condition can be treated and the symptoms are usually temporary. The most common symptoms of sickle cell anemia include:


A common side effect of SCD is infection. Patients may be prone to infections due to their weakened immune system and spleen dysfunction. Infections can affect many parts of the body, including joints and chest. The onset of the disease may also cause lifelong immune deficiency. Treatment for infections in these patients must address both underlying conditions and the occurrence of new infections.

Symptoms of SCD may include hemolytic anemia, recurrent vascular occlusion, organ damage, and delayed growth. The disease is the most common cause of mortality in people with SCD and has been implicated in 20-50% of death in cohort studies over the last two decades. Improvements in infection prevention and treatment have dramatically increased life expectancy. However, these advancements are not enough to reverse the disease. Infection treatment in sickle cell disease is still a major priority.

Because sickle cells are short-lived, they break down more rapidly than normal red blood cells. This leads to anemia. Acute chest syndrome is a common symptom of sickle cell anemia and may include a high fever and painful cough. If the cells get stuck in a blood vessel, it may lead to a pain crisis. Pain may be felt in any area, although it most commonly occurs in the chest. Swelling of the fingers can also result in tissue death.

Sickle cell disease is also associated with aplastic crisis, which occurs when the body fails to produce enough red blood cells. This condition leads to severe anemia, which manifests in symptoms of extreme tiredness, paleness, and fast heartbeat. Infections are common in patients with SCD. Fevers of 101 degrees Fahrenheit can be an indication of an infection. The patient can also experience painful and long-lasting erections. Because of the nature of the disease, aplastic crisis can interfere with a person’s ability to have a child or conceive.

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