We have previously reported that the Tharu people of the Terai region in southern Nepal have an incidence of malaria about sevenfold lower than that of synpatric non-Tharu people. In order to find out whether this marked resistance against malaria has a genetic basis, we have now determined in these populations the prevalence of candidate protective genes and have performed in-vitro cultures of Plasmodium falciparum in both Tharu and non-Tharu red cells. We have found significant but relatively low and variable frequencies of beta-thal, beta-s, G6PD (-), and Duffy (a-b-) in different parts of the Terai region. The average in-vitro rate of invasion and of parasite multiplication did not differ significantly in red cells from Tharus versus those from non-Tharu controls. By contrast, the frequency of alpha-thalassemia is uniformly high in Tharus, with the majority of them having the homozygous alpha-/alpha-genotype and an overall alpha-thal gene (alpha-) frequency of .8. We suggest that holoendemic malaria has caused preferential survival of subjects with alpha-thal and that this genetic factor has enabled the Tharus as a population to survive for centuries in a malaria-holoendemic area. From our data we estimate that the alpha-thal homozygous state decreases morbidity from malaria by about 10-fold. This is an example of selection evolution toward fixation of an otherwise abnormal gene.

Modiano, G., Morpurgo, G., Terrenato, L., Novelletto, A., Di Rienzo, A., Colombo, B., et al. (1991). Protection against malaria morbidity - near-fixation of the alpha-thalassemia gene in a Nepalese population. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN GENETICS, 48(2), 390-397.

Protection against malaria morbidity - near-fixation of the alpha-thalassemia gene in a Nepalese population

TERRENATO, LUCIANO;NOVELLETTO, ANDREA;
1991

Abstract

We have previously reported that the Tharu people of the Terai region in southern Nepal have an incidence of malaria about sevenfold lower than that of synpatric non-Tharu people. In order to find out whether this marked resistance against malaria has a genetic basis, we have now determined in these populations the prevalence of candidate protective genes and have performed in-vitro cultures of Plasmodium falciparum in both Tharu and non-Tharu red cells. We have found significant but relatively low and variable frequencies of beta-thal, beta-s, G6PD (-), and Duffy (a-b-) in different parts of the Terai region. The average in-vitro rate of invasion and of parasite multiplication did not differ significantly in red cells from Tharus versus those from non-Tharu controls. By contrast, the frequency of alpha-thalassemia is uniformly high in Tharus, with the majority of them having the homozygous alpha-/alpha-genotype and an overall alpha-thal gene (alpha-) frequency of .8. We suggest that holoendemic malaria has caused preferential survival of subjects with alpha-thal and that this genetic factor has enabled the Tharus as a population to survive for centuries in a malaria-holoendemic area. From our data we estimate that the alpha-thal homozygous state decreases morbidity from malaria by about 10-fold. This is an example of selection evolution toward fixation of an otherwise abnormal gene.
Pubblicato
Rilevanza internazionale
Articolo
Sì, ma tipo non specificato
Settore BIO/18 - Genetica
English
Con Impact Factor ISI
alpha thalassemia; article; ethnic group; genotype; human; infection resistance; malaria; nepal; normal human; priority journal; thalassemia; Animal; Blotting, Southern; DNA; Electrophoresis, Cellulose Acetate; Erythrocytes; Genetic Markers; Heterozygote; Homozygote; Malaria; Nepal; Phenotype; Plasmodium falciparum; Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Thalassemia; Plasmodium falciparum
Modiano, G., Morpurgo, G., Terrenato, L., Novelletto, A., Di Rienzo, A., Colombo, B., et al. (1991). Protection against malaria morbidity - near-fixation of the alpha-thalassemia gene in a Nepalese population. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN GENETICS, 48(2), 390-397.
Modiano, G; Morpurgo, G; Terrenato, L; Novelletto, A; Di Rienzo, A; Colombo, B; Purpura, M; Mariani, M; Santachiara Benerecetti, S; Brega, A; Dixit, K; Shrestha, S; Lania, A; Wanachiwanawin, W; Luzzatto, L
Articolo su rivista
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2108/8737
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact