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We retrospectively studied MBP genotypes in patients with malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and persistent hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriage, in clinics and hospitals in The Gambia. Children under 10 years with cerebral malaria and/or severe malarial anaemia, were compared with children with symptomatic, mild malaria, and controls of the same age and ethnicity. Adult TB cases with smear-positive pulmonary TB were compared with healthy blood donors from the same ethnic groups. Malaria cases and controls were tested for hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) and surface antigen (HBsAg). TB patients were tested for HIV antibodies. Genotyping used sequence-specific oligonucleotide analysis to identify MBP variant alleles. Overall, 46% (944/2041) of patients and controls were homozygous for the wild-type MBP allele, 45% (922/2041) were carriers of a single variant allele and 8.6% (175/2041) had two variant alleles. Neither homozygotes nor heterozygotes for MBP variants were at increased risk of clinical malaria, persistent HBV carriage or TB. The most common mutation in Africans, the codon 57 variant allele, was weakly associated with resistance to TB (221/794 in TB cases and 276/844 in controls, p = 0.037). MBP deficiency is not a significant risk factor for persistent HBV, severe malaria nor pulmonary TB in West Africa.


Journal article



Publication Date





13 - 18