Association of a functional TNF variant with Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in a congolese population

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Abstract

Several studies have provided evidence of both helpful and harmful effects of TNF on the outcome of Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection. Several TNF polymorphisms that are located within non-coding regions have been associated with parasitaemia, mild malaria or severe malaria. We investigated the association of TNF1304 (rs3093664), TNF-308 (rs1800629), TNF-238 (rs361525) and TNF-244 (rs673) with mild malaria and symptomatic maximum parasitaemia in a population-based design (n = 310). We obtained nominal evidence for an association between symptomatic maximum parasitaemia and TNF-308, TNF-238, and TNF-244 on the one hand, and between the number of mild malaria attacks and TNF-244 on the other hand. After accounting for multiple tests, we confirmed the association of symptomatic maximum parasitaemia with TNF-244. We further provide bioinformatics and experimental evidence that TNF-244 has a cis-regulatory effect. This is the first report that emphasizes the potential role of TNF-244 in malaria.

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