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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.  Is Screening of TORCH Worthwhile in Women with Bad Obstetric History: An Observation from Eastern Nepal 
This pilot case-control study at a tertiary-care hospital over a four-month period was aimed at evaluating the possible usefulness of screening of TORCH (Toxoplasma gondii, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus, and Herpes simplex virus) in females with bad obstetric history. The study included 12 women with bad obstetric history and a similar number of matched controls with previous normal pregnancies. A serological evaluation of TORCH infections was carried out by detecting IgG and IgM antibodies against these infections by ELISA test-kit. Statistical analysis was not done to compare the results relating to the two groups due to a small number of cases and controls included in the study. Ten (83.3%) of the 12 cases with bad obstetric history and two (16.7%) of the 12 healthy controls were serologically positive at least for one of the TORCH agents. The seropositivity rate in women with bad obstetric history was quite high compared to that in the normal healthy controls. The results suggest that a previous history of pregnancy wastage and the serological evaluation of TORCH infections during current pregnancy must be considered while managing cases with bad obstetric history.
PMCID: PMC3075056  PMID: 21528793
Bad obstetric history; Case-control studies; TORCH screening; Nepal

Results 1-2 (2)