Genetic analysis of susceptibility to infection with Ascaris lumbricoides

Sarah Williams-Blangero, Janardan Subedi, Ram Prasad Upadhayay, Deepak B. Manral, Dev R. Rai, Bharat Jha, Edward S. Robinson, John Blangero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Epidemiologic studies of helminthic infections have shown that susceptibility to these parasites frequently aggregates in families, suggesting the possible involvement of genetic factors. This paper presents a genetic epidemiologic analysis of Ascaris lumbricoides infection in the Jirel population of eastern Nepal. A total of 1,261 individuals belonging to a single pedigree were assessed for intensity of Ascaris infection at two time points. Following an initial assessment in which all individuals were treated with albendazole, a follow-up examination was performed one year later to evaluate reinfection patterns. Three measures of worm burden were analyzed, including eggs per gram of feces, direct worm counts, and worm biomass (weight). For all traits, Variance component analysis of the familial data provided unequivocal evidence for a strong genetic component accounting for between 30% and 50% of the variation in worm burden. Shared environmental (i.e., common household) effects account for between 3% and 13% of the total phenotypic variance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-926
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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