Human genetic factors involved in immunity to Plasmodium falciparum infection

University dissertation from Stockholm : Wenner-Grens institut för experimentell biologi

Abstract: This study investigated the associations between IL-4 -590 C/T and IL-10 -1087 A/G polymorphisms and malariometric indexes in the Fulani and the Dogon ethnic groups living in sympatry in Mali and differing in susceptibility to malaria. The correlations between antibodies level and parasitological data as well as splenomegaly were assessed. The impact of IL-4 -590 variants on the levels of the studied antibodies was also studied. The allele and genotype frequencies of both studied SNPs differed significantly between the two groups. The Fulani IL-4 T allele carriers had a significantly higher infection prevalence compared with those carrying the CC genotype. No correlation between anti-malarial antibody levels and parasite prevalence was seen in any of the communities. In the Fulani, the increase in total IgE levels was related to the presence of infection. Malaria-specific IgG4 levels were negatively correlated to the number of clones within the Fulani. The Fulani IL-4 T allele carriers had higher total and malaria-specific IgE levels, compared to the CC genotype carriers. These results suggest that the amount of antibodies may not be the key element in the protection against malaria. IgG4 might be involved in protection against malaria. The impact of IL-4 -590 variants on the antibody levels may be affected by other genetic/epigenetic/epistatic or environmental factors. In the study in Senegal, multiplicity of infection (MOI) increased after the transmission season in all subjects, except in ?-thalassaemic and in G6PD-mutated children, suggesting that ?-thalassaemia may protect against infection by certain parasite strains. G6PD-mutated individuals may resist against increase in MOI after the transmission season due to rapid clearance of infection at an early stage. HbAs and the ABO system do not affect MOI in asymptomatic individuals. MOI was positively correlated to parasitemia, and did not vary over age (in the range of 2 to 10 years). No relation between MOI and clinical attack was noted.