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Background: Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency represents a barrier to the full deployment of anti-malarial drugs for vivax malaria elimination and of first-line antibiotics. Lack of established reference ranges for G6PD activity in breast-fed infants puts them at risk of drug-induced haemolysis and restricts access to safe treatment of their mothers.   Methods: The present work was undertaken to establish age-specific G6PD normal values using the gold standard spectrophotometric assay to support the future clinical use of tafenoquine in lactating women and safer antibiotic treatment in infants.   Results: Spectrophotometric results from 78 healthy infants between the ages of 2 and 6 months showed a trend of decreased enzymatic activity with increasing age and provided a reference normal value of 100% activity for infants 2-6 months old of 10.18IU/gHb.   Conclusions: Normal reference G6PD activity in 2–6-month-old infants was approximately 140% of that observed in G6PD normal adults from the same population. Age specific G6PD activity thresholds should be used in paediatric populations to avoid drug-induced haemolysis.

Original publication




Journal article


Wellcome Open Research


F1000 Research Ltd

Publication Date





273 - 273