Volume 68, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Several studies have focused their attention on the relationship between host genetic factors and susceptibility/resistance to severe malaria. However, there is a paucity of information concerning the role of host genetic factors in asymptomatic malaria, a form of low-grade infection without clinical symptoms. We investigated in this study the potential relationship between the host (human) genetic polymorphisms (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase [G6PD], mannose binding lectin [MBL], tumor necrosis factor α [TNF α] and , and nitric oxide synthase 2 [NOS2]) and the prevalence and profile of asymptomatic infection in 158 Gabonese schoolchildren. We found that G6PD A heterozygous females (18 of 74) have a low prevalence of asymptomatic malaria (38.9% versus 67.3%; = 0.03, by chi-square test). Children heterozygous for TNFα (25 of 156) carry high number of diverse infecting parasite genotypes (2.5 versus 1.99; variance F = 3.05). No statistically significant association was found between MBL, TNF α , or NOS2 polymorphisms and asymptomatic malaria. Upon combining our data on asymptomatic forms with those from the literature for others forms, we conclude that G6PD A heterozygous females are protected against all forms of malaria, and that the TNF α allele confers protection against clinical malaria.


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  • Received : 07 Mar 2002
  • Accepted : 28 May 2002

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