Re: Aplastic Anemia and malaria
This is actually a very interesting question that I had to address indirectly in connection with treatment of my macrocytic anemia. My red cell count and hematocrit were low and falling and MCV was high and climbing. I had taken plaquenil for a number of years for an autoimmune disease and the hematologist thought it might be suppressing the red cell line and giving rise to the anemia. The rheum discontinued the Plaquenil and the hematologist has started me on B-12 shots and after three months it appears things are stabilizing. Myelodysplastic syndrome (i.e., aplastic anemia) is still in the differential.
Plaquenil (generic: hydroxychloroquine) is one of the front line antimalarials and, in addition to its anti-parasitic effects in malaria, acts to suppress inflammation in several ways, including at the nuclear level in the expression and transcription of some parts of the immature blood cell's DNA. There is one reported study on line in which patients taking Plaquenil were over-represented in the subject bone marrow transplant recipient cohort relative to the incidence of Plaquenil use in the general population. While the authors claimed the results were remarkable, the numbers of patients and findings involved in the study were too small to be statistically significant so it's not possible to draw firm conclusions from the report.
Be careful and be sure talk to your friend's hematologist on that one, and wish you both good luck.