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Tissue Antigens. 2013 Sep;82(3):177-85. doi: 10.1111/tan.12183.

Distribution patterns of variability for 18 immune system genes in Amerindians--relationship with history and epidemiology.

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Departamento de Genética, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.


Native American populations generally have a higher prevalence of infectious diseases than non-Native populations and this fact can induce different pressures in their immune system. We investigated the patterns of population differentiation (FST ) of 32 polymorphisms related to adaptive immune response in four Native American populations (Aché, Guarani-Kaiowá, Guarani-Ñandeva and Kaingang), and the results were compared with the three major world population data [Yoruba of Ibadan, Nigeria (YRI), Utah residents with northern and Western Europe ancestry (CEU) and Han Chinese of Beijing, China (CHB)] available in the HapMap database. The Aché clearly differentiated from the other Amerindians, but when all Native Americans were compared with the samples of other ethnic groups the lowest difference (0.08) was found with CHB (Asians), the second lowest (0.15) with YRI (Africans) and the most marked with CEU (European-derived). The considerable intra and interethnic differences found can be explained both in terms of diverse evolutionary distances and more recent environmental pathogen exposures; and they should be appropriately considered prior to any specific public health action.


Aché; Amerindians; Guarani; Kaingang; immune response genes; interleukins

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