Previous studies had already linked the myth of vampirism with porphyria, a name that encompasses eight types of blood disorders.
And more specifically with one known as erythropoietic porphyria. Those who suffer as their skin becomes more sensitive to light, which can cause them to refuse to go outdoors during daylight hours.
In addition, these patients suffer from anemia, which sometimes forces them to undergo blood transfusions. It is believed that in the past, some people with porphyria could drink animal blood, which led to the idea that they were vampires.
Now, a team of researchers from the Dana-Farber / Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, has discovered a new genetic mutation that favors that symptoms.
The authors of the study saw that a process produced as a synthesis of porphyrins, which is carried out in the liver, is essential to produce hemoglobin. But, when said processes are altered, there is an excessive accumulation in the cells of one of the components that give rise to hemoglobin, protoporphyrin IX.
And when this protein is subjected to the action of sunlight, it causes burns and wounds on the skin, in addition to causing porphyria
Now, researchers in Boston have found a new mutation in the CLPX gene that prevents the formation of hemoglobin, and that leads to the accumulation of protoporphyrin IX, and the appearance of porphyria. A mutation that could explain some of the supposed cases of vampirism that occurred in the past