Background: IL-13 is a signature cytokine of the helper T cell type 2 (TH2) pathway which underlies host defense to helminthic infection and activates production of IgE in both parasitized populations and in urban settings after allergen exposure. Methodology/Principal Findings: Two functional polymorphisms in IL13, rs1800925 (or c.1-1111C>T) and rs20541 (or R130Q) were previously found to be associated with Schistosoma hematobium infection intensity. They have not been thoroughly explored in S. mansoni-endemic populations, however, and were selected along with 5 tagging SNPs for genotyping in 812 individuals in 318 nuclear families from a schistosomiasis-endemic area of Conde, Bahia, in Brazil. Regression models using GEE to account for family membership and family-based quantitative transmission disequilibrium tests (QTDT) were used to evaluate associations with total serum IgE (tIgE) levels and S. mansoni fecal egg counts adjusted for non-genetic covariates. We identified a protective effect for the T allele at rs20541 (P = 0.005) against high S. mansoni egg counts, corroborated by QTDT (P = 0.014). Our findings also suggested evidence for protective effects for the T allele at rs1800925 and A allele at rs2066960 after GEE analysis only (P = 0.050, 0.0002). Conclusions/Significance: The two functional variants in IL13 are protective against high S. mansoni egg counts. These markers showed no evidence of association with tIgE levels, unlike tIgE levels previously studied in non-parasitized or atopic study populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)