Human Genetics

, 123:557

Genetic studies of African populations: an overview on disease susceptibility and response to vaccines and therapeutics

  • Giorgio Sirugo
  • Branwen J. Hennig
  • Adebowale A. Adeyemo
  • Alice Matimba
  • Melanie J. Newport
  • Muntaser E. Ibrahim
  • Kelli K. Ryckman
  • Alessandra Tacconelli
  • Renato Mariani-Costantini
  • Giuseppe Novelli
  • Himla Soodyall
  • Charles N. Rotimi
  • Raj S. Ramesar
  • Sarah A. Tishkoff
  • Scott M. Williams
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00439-008-0511-y

Cite this article as:
Sirugo, G., Hennig, B.J., Adeyemo, A.A. et al. Hum Genet (2008) 123: 557. doi:10.1007/s00439-008-0511-y

Abstract

Africa is the ultimate source of modern humans and as such harbors more genetic variation than any other continent. For this reason, studies of the patterns of genetic variation in African populations are crucial to understanding how genes affect phenotypic variation, including disease predisposition. In addition, the patterns of extant genetic variation in Africa are important for understanding how genetic variation affects infectious diseases that are a major problem in Africa, such as malaria, tuberculosis, schistosomiasis, and HIV/AIDS. Therefore, elucidating the role that genetic susceptibility to infectious diseases plays is critical to improving the health of people in Africa. It is also of note that recent and ongoing social and cultural changes in sub-Saharan Africa have increased the prevalence of non-communicable diseases that will also require genetic analyses to improve disease prevention and treatment. In this review we give special attention to many of the past and ongoing studies, emphasizing those in Sub-Saharan Africans that address the role of genetic variation in human disease.

Supplementary material

439_2008_511_MOESM1_ESM.doc (475 kb)
MOESM1 [INSERT CAPTION HERE] (DOC 475 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giorgio Sirugo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Branwen J. Hennig
    • 4
  • Adebowale A. Adeyemo
    • 5
  • Alice Matimba
    • 6
  • Melanie J. Newport
    • 7
  • Muntaser E. Ibrahim
    • 8
  • Kelli K. Ryckman
    • 9
  • Alessandra Tacconelli
    • 2
    • 3
  • Renato Mariani-Costantini
    • 10
  • Giuseppe Novelli
    • 2
    • 3
  • Himla Soodyall
    • 11
  • Charles N. Rotimi
    • 5
  • Raj S. Ramesar
    • 12
  • Sarah A. Tishkoff
    • 13
  • Scott M. Williams
    • 9
  1. 1.Medical Research Council LaboratoriesFajaraThe Gambia, West Africa
  2. 2.Medical Genetics Unit, Ospedale S. Pietro FBFRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Biopathology and Diagnostic Imaging, School of MedicineTor Vergata UniversityRomeItaly
  4. 4.London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  5. 5.National Human Genome CenterHoward University, College of MedicineWashington, DCUSA
  6. 6.Molecular Science Unit, (AiBST)HarareZimbabwe
  7. 7.Department of Medicine, Brighton and Sussex Medical SchoolUniversity of SussexBrightonUK
  8. 8.Department of Molecular Biology, Institute of Endemic DiseasesUniversity of KhartoumKhartoumSudan
  9. 9.Center for Human Genetic ResearchVanderbilt University School of MedicineNashvilleUSA
  10. 10.Department of Oncology and Neuroscience and Ageing Research CenterUniversity Gabriele d’AnnunzioChietiItaly
  11. 11.Human Genomic Diversity and Disease Research UnitUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  12. 12.Division of Human Genetics, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular MedicineUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  13. 13.Department of GeneticsUniversity of Pennsylvania, School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA