Data on the geographical distribution of malaria and the genetic traits of thalassemia and G-6-PD deficiency within the island population of Sardinia, Italy, are summarized. The traditional explanation for the genetic trait distribution, the result of differential selection by endemic malaria, is called into question. Previous analyses had used altitude as an indirect measure of malaria; epidemiological information is presented to show that such an assumption is inadequate and incorrect. Utilizing morbidity data from an island-wide malaria survey conducted by Fermi, the present analysis does not replicate the expected correlation between malaria morbidity and gene traits, thalassemia and G-6-PD deficiency. An alternative hypothesis, that gene flow due to historical migrations during the Carthaginian and Roman epochs helps to explain the geographical distribution of thalassemia and G-6-PD deficiency, is offered.
Brown, Peter J.
"New Considerations on the Distribution of Malaria, Thalassemia, and Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehyrogenase Deficiency in Sardinia,"
3, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol53/iss3/10