Methods: We tested the association between rs7291467, a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the LT?related gene encoding galectin-2 (LGALS2), disease severity, and function in a case-control study of ethnic Highland Papuan adults and children with SM (n = 380) and asymptomatic malaria-exposed controls (n = 356) originating from a non-malaria-endemic region but residing in a lowland malaria-endemic area of Papua, Indonesia.
Results: The LGALS2 SNP showed a significant association with susceptibility to SM (including CM), in children (odds ratio, 2.02 [95% confidence interval, 1.14-3.57]) but not in adults. In SM, the C allele at rs7291467 was associated with enhanced galectin-2 transcript levels. In a separate group of Tanzanian children originating from a malaria-endemic region, we found preservation of the major ancestral LGALS2 allele and no association with susceptibility to CM.
Conclusions: Results suggest differences in the inflammatory contribution to the development of SM between children and adults in the same population and potential differences between individuals originating from malariaendemic and non-malaria-endemic areas.