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Association of Cytokine and Toll-Like Receptor Gene Polymorphisms with Severe Malaria in Cameroon

This week PLoS One published the paper “Association of Cytokine and Toll-Like Receptor Gene Polymorphisms with Severe Malaria in Three Regions of Cameroon” by Tobias Apinjoh et al.

News 29 Nov 2013
Human
Cameroon Fishing Boats. Photo credit: Jake Stimpson, Flickr 2006, CC-BY2.0.
Cameroon Fishing Boats. Photo credit: Jake Stimpson, Flickr 2006, CC-BY2.0.

The study investigates the effect of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on malaria pathology from two major ethnic groups in three regions of Cameroon characterised by their intense perennial transmission of P. falciparum. In total, 1,862 individuals participated in the study. From these samples, twenty nine polymorphisms in cytokine and toll-like receptor (TLR) genes as well as the sickle cell trait (HbS) were assayed.

In addition to confirming the known protective effect of HbS against severe malaria, the results demonstrated a protective effect of SNPs in interleukin-10 (IL10) in cerebral malaria and hyperpyrexia and in particular the IL10 SNP rs1800890 which was associated with IL10 serum levels. One other cytokine gene (IL17 receptor – both D and E sub-types) showed notable association with malaria disease outcome.

Polymorphisms in TLRs 1, 4, 6 and 9 were also analysed of which TLR4 and TLR9 showed an association with susceptibility to malaria.

When viewed as a whole, the results suggest that polymorphisms in some immune response genes may have ramifications for severe malaria susceptibility in Cameroonians.

Publication

Apinjoh et al. (2013). Association of Cytokine and Toll-Like Receptor Gene Polymorphisms with Severe Malaria in Three Regions of Cameroon. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 27;8(11):e81071. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081071. eCollection 2013.