Host genetics and population structure effects on parasitic disease

Sarah Williams-Blangero, Charles D. Criscione, John L. VandeBerg, Rodrigo Correa-Oliveira, Kimberly D. Williams, Janardan Subedi, Jack W. Kent, Jeff Williams, Satish Kumar, John Blangero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Host genetic factors exert significant influences on differential susceptibility to many infectious diseases. In addition, population structure of both host and parasite may influence disease distribution patterns. In this study, we assess the effects of population structure on infectious disease in two populations in which host genetic factors influencing susceptibility to parasitic disease have been extensively studied. The first population is the Jirel population of eastern Nepal that has been the subject of research on the determinants of differential susceptibility to soil-transmitted helminth infections. The second group is a Brazilian population residing in an area endemic for Trypanosoma cruzi infection that has been assessed for genetic influences on differential disease progression in Chagas disease. For measures of Ascaris worm burden, within-population host genetic effects are generally more important than host population structure factors in determining patterns of infectious disease. No significant influences of population structure on measures associated with progression of cardiac disease in individuals who were seropositive for T. cruzi infection were found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)887-894
Number of pages8
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1590
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Chagas disease
  • Genetics of infectious disease susceptibility
  • Intestinal worms
  • Population structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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