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Uncovering the complex genetic basis of susceptibility and resistance to parasitic infectious diseases is an enormous challenge. It probably involves many different host genes, interacting with multiple parasite genetic and environmental factors. Several genes of interest have been identified by family and association studies in humans and by using mouse models, but more robust epidemiological studies and functional data are needed to authenticate these findings. With new technologies and statistical tools for whole-genome association analysis, the next few years are likely to see acceleration in the rate of gene discovery, which has the potential to greatly assist drug and vaccine development.

Original publication




Journal article


Seminars in immunology

Publication Date





411 - 422


Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK.


Animals, Humans, Mice, Parasitic Diseases, Schistosomiasis, Malaria, Leishmaniasis, Genetic Predisposition to Disease