Children with sickle-cell disease are at great risk of serious infections and early mortality. Our Review investigates the association between sickle-cell disease and invasive bacterial disease among populations in Africa. We systematically searched published work extracted data on pneumonia, meningitis, and bacteraemia by sickle-cell disease status. Most studies identified lacked a control group and did not use best laboratory methods for culturing fastidious bacteria. Only seven case-control or case-cohort studies provided data on the association between invasive bacterial disease and sickle-cell disease status. For all-cause laboratory-confirmed invasive bacterial disease, the pooled odds of sickle-cell disease was 19-times greater among cases than controls. For disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, the pooled odds of sickle-cell disease was 36-times greater; and for Haemophilus influenzae type b disease it was 13-times greater.
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