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Korean J Parasitol. 2002 Dec;40(4):165-72.

Genetic factors associated with development of cerebral malaria and fibrotic schistosomiasis.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Immunogenetics, Institute of Tropical Medicine Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, 852-8523, Japan.


Collaborative studies have identified some genetic factors contributing to the development of severe forms of malaria and schistosomiasis. In Thailand, the TNF-alpha 5'-flanking region shows biallelic polymorphic sites at nucleotides -238, -308, -857, -863, and -1031, and seven alleles have been identified in patients from Myanmar. We found that the TNF promoter (TNFP)-D allele was significantly associated with cerebral malaria in populations from Karen (P < 0.0001, OR = 124.86) and ethnic Burma (P < 0.0001, OR = 34.50). In China, we have identified two major genes related to the severity of liver fibrosis, one an HLA class II gene, and the other the IL-13 gene. The frequency of the HLA-DRB5*0101 allele and that of the IL-13 promoter A/A (IL-13P- A/A) genotype were elevated in fibrotic patients, although the two genes are located on different chromosomes, chromosomes 6p and 5q, respectively. Subjects with both genotypes had odds ratios (OR = 24.5) much higher than the sum of the ratios for each individual genotype (OR = 5.1, 95% Confidence Interval 1.3-24.7 for HLA-DRB5*0101, OR = 3.1 95% CI 1.5 - 6.5 for IL-13P- A/A). That the effects of the two susceptibility markers are synergistic rather than additive, strongly suggests that the pathogenic Th2 response directly influences the prognosis of post-schistosomal liver fibrosis.

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