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Does apolipoprotein E polymorphism influence susceptibility to malaria?

Authors
  • Wozniak, M A
  • Faragher, E B
  • Todd, J A
  • Koram, K A
  • Riley, E M
  • Itzhaki, R F
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Medical Genetics
Publisher
BMJ
Publication Date
May 01, 2003
Volume
40
Issue
5
Pages
348–351
Identifiers
PMID: 12746397
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Outcome of infection varies greatly among people, and in the case of three very different viruses, it is determined by apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype. APOE might affect outcome of malaria infection also, since apoE protein and the protozoon (like the viruses) share cell entry mediators (heparan sulphate proteoglycans and/or specific apoE receptors). APOE polymorphisms give rise to protein variants that differ in binding strength to these mediators; thus, the extent of competition between apoE and protozoon for cell entry, and hence magnitude of protozoan damage, might depend on apoE isoform. Genotypes of infants infected with malaria were examined. It was found that APOE epsilon 2 homozygotes became infected at an earlier age than those carrying the other genotypes, the difference being statistically significant. Parasite densities, all of which were low, did not differ significantly. This effect, although based on small numbers, suggests that APOE epsilon 2 may be a risk factor for early infection.

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