Heritability of antibody isotype and subclass responses to Plasmodium falciparum antigens.

Duah, NO; Weiss, HA; Jepson, A; Tetteh, KK; Whittle, HC; Conway, DJ; (2009) Heritability of antibody isotype and subclass responses to Plasmodium falciparum antigens. PLoS One, 4 (10). e7381. ISSN 1932-6203 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0007381

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BACKGROUND: It is important to understand the extent to which genetic factors regulate acquired immunity to common infections. A classical twin study design is useful to estimate the heritable component of variation in measurable immune parameters. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This study assessed the relative heritability of different plasma antibody isotypes and subclasses (IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, IgG4, IgM, IgA and IgE) naturally acquired to P. falciparum blood stage antigens AMA1, MSP1-19, MSP2 (two allelic types) and MSP3 (two allelic types). Separate analyses were performed on plasma from 213 pairs of Gambian adult twins, 199 child twin pairs sampled in a dry season when there was little malaria transmission, and another set of 107 child twin pairs sampled at the end of the annual wet season when malaria was common. There were significantly positive heritability (h(2)) estimates for 48% (20/42) of the specific antibody assays (for the seven isotypes and subclasses to the six antigens tested) among the adults, 48% (20/42) among the children in the dry season and 31% (13/42) among the children in the wet season. In children, there were significant heritability estimates for IgG4 reactivity against each of the antigens, and this subclass had higher heritability than the other subclasses and isotypes. In adults, 75% (15/20) of the significantly heritable antigen-specific isotype responses were attributable to non-HLA class II genetic variation, whereas none showed a significant HLA contribution. SIGNIFICANCE: Genome-wide approaches are now warranted to map the major genetic determinants of variable antibody isotype and subclass responses to malaria, alongside evaluation of their impact on infection and disease. Although plasma levels of IgG4 to malaria antigens are generally low, the exceptionally high heritability of levels of this subclass in children deserves particular investigation.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Immunology and Infection
Research Centre: Malaria Centre
Tropical Epidemiology Group
PubMed ID: 19812685
Web of Science ID: 270594200007
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4661


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