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1.  A functional variant in TIRAP, also known as MAL, and protection against invasive pneumococcal disease, bacteraemia, malaria and tuberculosis 
Nature genetics  2007;39(4):523-528.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and members of their signalling pathway play an important role in the initiation of the innate immune response to a wide variety of pathogens1,2,3. The adaptor protein TIRAP mediates downstream signalling of TLR-2 and -44,5,6. We report a case-control genetic association study of 6106 individuals from Gambia, Kenya, United Kingdom, and Vietnam, with invasive pneumococcal disease, bacteraemia, malaria and tuberculosis. Thirty-three SNPs were genotyped, including TIRAP S180L. Heterozygous carriage of this variant was found to associate independently with all four infectious diseases in the different study populations (P=0.003, OR=0.59, 95%CI 0.42-0.83 for IPD; P=0.003, OR=0.40, 95%CI 0.21-0.77 for bacteraemia; P=0.002, OR=0.47, 95%CI 0.28-0.76 for malaria; P=0.008, OR=0.23 95%CI 0.07-0.73 for tuberculosis). Substantial support for a protective effect of S180L heterozygosity against infectious diseases was observed when the study groups were combined (N=6106, Overall P≤9.6×10-8). Tirap S180L was also shown to be functionally impaired in TLR2 signal transduction.
doi:10.1038/ng1976
PMCID: PMC2660299  PMID: 17322885
2.  Y-chromosomal insights into the genetic impact of the caste system in India 
Human genetics  2006;121(1):137-144.
The caste system has persisted in Indian Hindu society for around 3,500 years. Like the Y chromosome, caste is defined at birth, and males cannot change their caste. In order to investigate the genetic consequences of this system, we have analysed male-lineage variation in a sample of 227 Indian men of known caste, 141 from the Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh and 86 from the rest of India. We typed 131 Y-chromosomal binary markers and 16 microsatellites. We find striking evidence for male substructure: in particular, Brahmins and Kshatriyas (but not other castes) from Jaunpur each show low diversity and the predominance of a single distinct cluster of haplotypes. These findings confirm the genetic isolation and drift within the Jaunpur upper castes, which are likely to result from founder effects and social factors. In the other castes, there may be either larger effective population sizes, or less strict isolation, or both.
doi:10.1007/s00439-006-0282-2
PMCID: PMC2590678  PMID: 17075717
Y chromosome; haplotype; human population substructure; Indian caste system

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