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

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Parasitology
    • Virology
    • Infectious Diseases

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