Genetic and evolutionary determinants of human population variation in immune responses

Dr. Swamidass -this has connections with your scientific work


Humans display remarkable immune response variation when exposed to identical immune challenges. However, our understanding of the genetic, evolutionary, and environmental factors that impact this inter-individual and inter-population immune response heterogeneity is still in its early days. In this review, we discuss three fundamental questions concerning the recent evolution of the human immune system: the degree to which individuals from different populations vary in their innate immune responses, the genetic variants accounting for such differences, and the evolutionary mechanisms that led to the establishment of these variants in modern human populations. We also discuss how past selective events might have contributed to the uneven distribution of immune-related disorders across populations.

This is an older post, but it is worthy of a bump. The human genetic side of epidemiology is actually quite fascinating, and with the advent of next gen sequencing and other methods we can start to find some rough answers. One PI I worked with was always fascinated by why some populations were more susceptible to impetigo than others, and this was 20 years ago. Thanks for citing the paper.

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