Volume 71, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


We present a large case-control candidate gene study of leprosy susceptibility. Thirty-eight polymorphic sites from 13 genes were investigated for their role in susceptibility to leprosy by comparing 270 cases with 452 controls in Karonga district, northern Malawi. Homozygotes for a silent T→C change in codon 352 of the vitamin D receptor gene appeared to be at high risk (odds ratio [OR] = 4.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6–11.4, = 0.004), while homozygotes for the McCoy b blood group defining variant K1590E in exon 29 of the complement receptor 1 (formerly CD35) gene appeared to be protected (OR = 0.3, 95% CI = 0.1–0.8, = 0.02). Borderline evidence for association with leprosy susceptibility was found for seven polymorphic sites in an additional six genes. Some of these apparent associations may be false-positive results from multiple comparisons, and several associations suggested by studies in other populations were not replicated here. These data provide evidence of inter-population heterogeneity in leprosy susceptibility.


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  • Received : 28 Aug 2003
  • Accepted : 19 Jan 2004

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