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Exp Clin Immunogenet. 1995;12(3):206-16.

HLA, Gm, and Km polymorphisms and immunity to infectious diseases in South Amerinds.

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Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. 06520-8034, USA.


Isolated South Amerinds, a population at very high risk from infectious disease, mount good immune responses to pneumococcal polysaccharides, viral antigens and other immunogens. No unusual immunoglobulin allotype or HLA antigen, which might explain the high risk from infectious disease, was found among them. Responses are examined in relation to the immunogenetic markers that are most prevalent. Amerinds with Gm 1,2,17,21 responded less well than persons without this haplotype to 10 of 12 pneumococcal polysaccharides, and those who were homozygous at the HLA class I loci responded less well to viral antigens. However, these differences are not strong and there are few such findings relative to the number of possibilities examined. The most distinctive immunogenetic characteristic of these populations is their low level of polymorphism at all tested loci. Their susceptibility to infectious agents can be attributed to this genetic uniformity and a consequent ability of pathogens to adapt to the population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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