APOL-1 Variants, Susceptibility and Resistance to Trypanosomiasis
African trypanosomes are flagellate protozoans that are transmitted to mammals after inoculation by flies of the genus Glossina, also known as tsetse flies. Chronic infection with these parasites is fatal if untreated. In humans, the disease is also called “sleeping sickness” and affects thousands of people per year in sub-Saharan Africa (Pays et al. 2014).
Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL-1), an ionic channel-forming protein, is the lytic component of the innate immune system that protects humans against infection from the majority of the African trypanosomes, except for Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense in East Africa and Trypanosoma brucei gambiense in West Africa. These two species have evolved mechanisms to become resistant to lysis mediated by APOL-1 (Cooper et al. 2016).
In recent years, variants of APOL-1 have been identified that...
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