The Fulani are less clinically susceptible and more immunologically responsive to malaria than neighbouring ethnic groups. Here we report that anti-malarial antibody levels show a wide distribution amongst the Fulani themselves, raising the possibility that quantitative analysis within the Fulani may be an efficient way of screening for important genetic factors. The Th2 cytokine interleukin-4 is an obvious candidate: in Fulani, the IL4-524 T allele is at high frequency and is associated with elevated antibody levels against malaria antigens. These data highlight the possibility of combining inter- and intra-ethnic comparisons to characterize critical determinants of malarial immunity in a natural setting.
Antimalarial antibody levels and IL4 polymorphism in the Fulani of West Africa / Gaia, Luoni; Verra, Federica; Arca', Bruno; B. S., Sirima; M., Troye Blomberg; COLUZZI BARTOCCIONI, Caio Mario; D., Kwiatkowsku; Modiano, David. - In: GENES AND IMMUNITY. - ISSN 1466-4879. - STAMPA. - 2:7(2001), pp. 411-414. [10.1038/sj.gene.6363797]