Human Genetic Resistance to Malaria
Recent years have seen a major global drive towards the goal of identifying the genes associated with diseases of the developed world such as the cancers, heart disease, obesity, and stroke. Such research is largely predicated on the assumption that identifying such genes will yield fresh insights into the biology of these conditions that will, in time, result in novel approaches to their prevention and treatment. Genetic effects are likely to explain a considerable proportion of the risk of death from malaria (Mackinnon et al., 2005) and the resistance traits such as the sickle cell trait have often been used as prime examples to justify the gene discovery industry. Nevertheless, to date, the translation from studies of malaria–gene association to products that have improved the lot of those exposed to this common infection has proved profoundly disappointing. This chapter is by no means meant as a comprehensive review of malaria or human genetics which have been the...
KeywordsSevere Malaria Parasite Density Uncomplicated Malaria Clinical Malaria Sickle Cell Trait
TNW acknowledges the support of the Wellcome Trust, UK, the European Network 6 BioMalpar Consortium and the INDEPTH Network of Demographic Surveillance Sites.
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