Gene encoding duffy antigen/receptor for chemokines is associated with asthma and IgE in three populations

Candelaria Vergara, Yuhjung J. Tsai, Audrey V. Grant, Nicholas Rafaels, Li Gao, Tracey Hand, Maria Stockton, Monica Campbell, Dilia Mercado, Mezbah Faruque, Georgia Dunston, Terri H. Beaty, Ricardo Riccio Oliveira, Eduardo V. Ponte, Alvaro A. Cruz, Edgar Carvalho, Maria Ilma Araujo, Harold Watson, Robert P. Schleimer, Luis CaraballoRenate G. Nickel, Rasika A. Mathias, Kathleen C. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Rationale: Asthma prevalence and severity are high among underserved minorities, including those of African descent. The Duffy antigen/receptor for chemokines is the receptor for Plasmodium vivax on erythrocytes and functions as a chemokine-clearing receptor. Unlike European populations, decreased expression of the receptor on erythrocytes is common among populations of African descent, and results from a functional T-46C polymorphism (rs2814778) in the promoter. This variant provides an evolutionary advantage in malaria-endemic regions, because Duffy antigen/receptor for chemokines-negative erythrocytes are more resistant to infection by P. vivax. Objectives: To determine the role of the rs2814778 polymorphism in asthma and atopy as measured by total serum IgE levels among four populations of African descent (African Caribbean, African American, Brazilian, and Colombian) and a European American population. Methods: Family-based association tests were performed in each of the five populations to test for association between the rs2814778 polymorphism and asthma or total IgE concentration. Measurements and Main Results: Asthma was significantly associated with the rs2814778 polymorphism in the African Caribbean, Colombian, and Brazilian families (P < 0.05). High total IgE levels were associated with this variant in African Caribbean and Colombian families (P < 0.05). The variant allele was not polymorphic among European Americans. Conclusions: Susceptibility to asthma and atopy among certain populations of African descent is influenced by a functional polymorphism in the gene encoding Duffy antigen/receptor for chemokines. This genetic variant, which confers resistance to malarial parasitic infection, may also partially explain ethnic differences in morbidity of asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1022
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2008


  • Continental population groups
  • Duffy antigen/receptor for chemokines
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Lung diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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