Genetic polymorphisms in molecules of innate immunity and susceptibility to infection with Wuchereria bancrofti in South India


A pilot study was conducted to determine if host genetic factors influence susceptibility and outcomes in human filariasis. Using the candidate gene approach, a well-characterized population in South India was studied using common polymorphisms in six genes (CHIT1, MPO, NRAMP, CYBA, NCF2, and MBL2). A total of 216 individuals from South India were genotyped; 67 normal (N), 63 asymptomatic microfilaria positive (MF+), 50 with chronic lymphatic dysfunction/elephantiasis (CP), and 36 tropical pulmonary eosinophilia (TPE). An association was observed between the HH variant CHIT1 genotype, which correlates with decreased activity and levels of chitotriosidase and susceptibility to filarial infection (MF+ and CP; P = 0.013). The heterozygosity of CHIT1 gene was over-represented in the normal individuals (P = 0.034). The XX genotype of the promoter region in MBL2 was associated with susceptibility to filariasis (P = 0.0093). Since analysis for MBL-sufficient vs insufficient haplotypes was not informative, it is possible the MBL2 promoter association results from linkage disequilibrium with neighboring loci. We have identified two polymorphisms, CHIT1 and MBL2 that are associated with susceptibility to human filarial infection, findings that merit further follow-up in a larger study.


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Correspondence to SJ Chanock.

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  • filariasis
  • polymorphism
  • chitotriosidase
  • mannose-binding lectin
  • innate immunity

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