The tumor necrosis factor gene (TNF) and lymphotoxin-α gene (LTA) have long attracted attention as candidate genes for susceptibility traits for malaria, and several of their polymorphisms have been found to be associated with severe malaria (SM) phenotypes. In a large study involving > 10,000 individuals and encompassing 3 African populations, we found evidence to support the reported associations between the TNF -238 polymorphism and SM in The Gambia. However, no TNF/LTA polymorphisms were found to be associated with SM in cohorts in Kenya and Malawi. It has been suggested that the causal polymorphisms regulating the TNF and LTA responses may be located some distance from the genes. Therefore, more-detailed mapping of variants across TNF/LTA genes and their flanking regions in the Gambian and allied populations may need to be undertaken to find any causal polymorphisms.