School of Paediatrics and Child Health

Evolution of the human immune system and genetic diversity of human populations

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The patterns of genotype distribution are likely to strongly affect current disease susceptibility patterns worldwide.


We have hypothesised that human populations with tropical ancestry would have evolved vigorous Th2 immune responses to protect from tropical parasite infections compared with other populations from temperate or arctic environments. 

This global study includes 12 collaborative groups worldwide. We have collected numerous indigenous populations from tropical, temperate and arctic regions around the world and have investigated several genotypes in Th2 pathway genes with the data obtained so far supporting our general hypothesis. 


Current analyses are assessing relationships between ancestral location, Th1, Th2 and innate immune response genotypes and markers of ancestry and genetic differentiation using Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA markers. 


School of Paediatrics and Child Health

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Last updated:
Thursday, 14 March, 2013 9:26 AM