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Title: Genetic and environmental factors influencing susceptibility to infectious agents
Author: Blackwell, C. Caroline
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1993
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For most individuals or populations, susceptibility to an infectious agent is rarely dependent on one factor, e.g. the inability of Plasmodium vivax to infect erythrocytes that do not express the Duffy blood group antigen. Many early studies on associations between blood groups and diseases had inadequate control populations and did not consider environmental factors that might influence their results. Most also failed to propose hypotheses to explain the associations found. The objectives of the work presented here were: 1) to compare the ABO blood groups and the secretor/non-secretor phenotype of patients with well defined diseases with appropriately matched control groups; 2) to examine the influence of environmental factors associated with susceptibility to infectious agents with reference to the genetic markers examined; 3) to propose hypotheses to explain the host-parasite interactions underlying the association between genetic and environmental factors and susceptibility to particular infectious agents; 4) to test the hypotheses with the relevant human material; 5) to apply the information obtained in studies of infectious diseases to examination of other diseases or conditions in which infectious agents have been implicated, e.g. some autoimmune diseases and cot deaths. The epidemiological studies of infectious diseases found that compared with controls, individuals of the non-secretor phenotype were over-represented among: women with recurrent urinary tract infections; patients with kidney scarring following urinary tract infection; patients with invasive disease due to Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae type b; patients with oral or vaginal candida infection; oral candidiasis in non-insulin dependent diabetes. Individuals of the secretor phenotype were over-represented among patients with some respiratory virus infections and among those who had acquired the human immunodeficiency virus by heterosexual intercourse. The only associations with ABO blood group identified were those between group B and gonorrhoea and confirmation of the association of group O with peptic ulcers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Sc.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available