Effect of hydroxyurea therapy on the incidence of infections in ugandan children with sickle cell anaemia

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


t Hydroxyurea is efficacious against sickle cell anaemia (SCA)-related complications in African children. Prior studies demonstrated convicting results on the effect of hydroxyurea on risk of infection, the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in African children with SCA. We evaluated the incidence of infections before and after starting hydroxyurea in 117 children aged 1-5 years with SCA enrolled in the Zinc for Infection Prevention in Sickle cell anaemia (ZIPS) clinical trial that received zinc or placebo treatment for one year (Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03528434). Children were enrolled between March 2018 and November 2019 and initiated on hydroxyurea (20 mg/kg/day) if they met Uganda SCA guideline criteria for hydroxyurea treatment at any time during the study. We compared the incidence of infections before and after hydroxyurea therapy, adjusting for zinc treatment. Overall, the mean duration on hydroxyurea was 223.8 (85.2) person days. The mean(SD) incidence of any severe/invasive infections (infections meeting strict clinical and laboratory or radiological diagnostic criteria) was 6.2(9.0) vs. 1.9(2.3) infections per child per year before and after hydroxyurea (incidence rate ratio [IRR]: 0.40, 95%CI: 0.29-0.54, p


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)