Volume 67, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


This study quantifies the influence of shared household and kinship on egg counts during Schistosoma mansoni infection in a sample from rural Brazil. Detailed genealogic information allowed assignment of 597 individuals to 6 multihousehold pedigrees residing in 145 households. A variance component method was used to partition egg counts into shared household, additive genetic, and individual-specific environmental effects. Host additive genetic effects consistently accounted for a large proportion of the variation in egg counts: 43% in an unadjusted model and 40% in model adjusted for covariates. In a model that examined the confounding of shared household with kinship, additive genetic effects still accounted for 27% of the variation in egg counts and shared household only 12%. The consistently important role for host additive genetic factors on the variation in egg counts points to new ways of modeling and understanding the mechanisms that contribute to trait variation during infection with S. mansoni.


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