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1.  IL-4 Haplotype -590T, -34T and Intron-3 VNTR R2 Is Associated with Reduced Malaria Risk among Ancestral Indian Tribal Populations 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e48136.
Background
Interleukin 4 (IL-4) is an anti-inflammatory cytokine, which regulates balance between TH1 and TH2 immune response, immunoglobulin class switching and humoral immunity. Polymorphisms in this gene have been reported to affect the risk of infectious and autoimmune diseases.
Methods
We have analyzed three regulatory IL-4 polymorphisms; -590C>T, -34C>T and 70 bp intron-3 VNTR, in 4216 individuals; including: (1) 430 ethnically matched case-control groups (173 severe malaria, 101 mild malaria and 156 asymptomatic); (2) 3452 individuals from 76 linguistically and geographically distinct endogamous populations of India, and (3) 334 individuals with different ancestry from outside India (84 Brazilian, 104 Syrian, and 146 Vietnamese).
Results
The -590T, -34T and intron-3 VNTR R2 alleles were found to be associated with reduced malaria risk (P<0.001 for -590C>T and -34C>T, and P = 0.003 for VNTR). These three alleles were in strong LD (r2>0.75) and the TTR2 (-590T, -34T and intron-3 VNTR R2) haplotype appeared to be a susceptibility factor for malaria (P = 0.009, OR = 0.552, 95% CI = 0.356 –0.854). Allele and genotype frequencies differ significantly between caste, nomadic, tribe and ancestral tribal populations (ATP). The distribution of protective haplotype TTR2 was found to be significant (χ23 = 182.95, p-value <0.001), which is highest in ATP (40.5%); intermediate in tribes (33%); and lowest in caste (17.8%) and nomadic (21.6%).
Conclusions
Our study suggests that the IL-4 polymorphisms regulate host susceptibility to malaria and disease progression. TTR2 haplotype, which gives protection against malaria, is high among ATPs. Since they inhabited in isolation and mainly practice hunter-gatherer lifestyles and exposed to various parasites, IL-4 TTR2 haplotype might be under positive selection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048136
PMCID: PMC3480467  PMID: 23110190
2.  Genetic Evidence of Functional Ficolin-2 Haplotype as Susceptibility Factor in Cutaneous Leishmaniasis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e34113.
Background
Ficolin-2 coded by FCN2 gene is a soluble serum protein that plays an important role in innate immunity. In this study, we analyzed five functional polymorphisms of the FCN2 gene for their possible association with cutaneous leishmaniasis.
Methods
Initially we screened 40 Syrian Arabs for the entire FCN2 gene. We investigated the contribution of FCN2 functional variants in 226 patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis and 286 healthy controls from Syria. Polymorphisms in the promoter regions (−986G/A, −602G/A, −4A/G) of the FCN2 gene were assessed by TaqMan real time PCR, whereas polymorphisms in exon8 (+6359C/T and +6424G/T) were assessed by DNA sequencing. We also measured serum ficolin-2 levels in 70 control Syrian Arabs and correlated the serum concentrations to FCN2 genotypes and haplotypes respectively.
Results
Nine new FCN2 variants including two with non synonymous substitutions in exon6 and exon8 were observed. The homozygous genotypes +6424T/T were distributed more in controls and none in patients (P = 0.04). The AGACG haplotype were observed more in patients than in controls (OR = 2.0, 95%CI 1.2–3.4, P = 0.006). The serum ficolin-2 levels were significantly distributed among the reconstructed ficolin-2 haplotypes (P<0.008) and the haplotype AGACG was observed with higher ficolin-2 levels in 70 control individuals.
Conclusion
Our results demonstrate a significant association of FCN2 AGACG haplotype with cutaneous leishmaniasis in a Syrian Arab population. These first results provide a basis for a future study that could confirm or disprove possible relationships between FCN2 gene polymorphisms with cutaneous leishmaniasis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034113
PMCID: PMC3311577  PMID: 22457818

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