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Common West African HLA antigens are associated with protection from severe malaria

Nature volume 352, pages 595600 (15 August 1991) | Download Citation

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Abstract

A large case-control study of malaria in West African children shows that a human leucocyte class I antigen (HLA-Bw53) and an HLA class II haplotype (DRB1*1302–DQB1*0501), common in West Africans but rare in other racial groups, are independently associated with protection from severe malaria. In this population they account for as great a reduction in disease incidence as the sickle-cell haemoglobin variant. These data support the hypothesis that the extraordinary polymorphism of major histocompatibility complex genes has evolved primarily through natural selection by infectious pathogens.

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Author information

Author notes

    • Dominic Kwiatkowski
    • , Nicholas M. Anstey
    • , Patrick Twumasi
    •  & Brian M. Greenwood

    Medical Research Council Laboratories, Fajara, The Gambia

    • Pamela A. Rowe
    •  & Stephen Bennett

    Department of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK

    • David Brewster

    Royal Victoria Hospital, Banjul, The Gambia

Affiliations

  1. Molecular Immunology Group, Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford 0X3 9DU, UK

    • Adrian V. S. Hill
    • , Catherine E. M. Allsopp
    • , Dominic Kwiatkowski
    • , Nicholas M. Anstey
    • , Patrick Twumasi
    • , Pamela A. Rowe
    • , Stephen Bennett
    • , David Brewster
    • , Andrew J. McMichael
    •  & Brian M. Greenwood

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https://doi.org/10.1038/352595a0

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