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anthronotes2 - 9:48:00 AM Infectious diseases in urban...

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29/02/2008 11:48:00 Infectious diseases in urban populations Crowd diseases of overriding importance o Rats on ship carried fleas which in turn caused the plague Malnutrition decreases resistance to infectious diseases Social stratification leads to variation in sanitation, general health, and  exposure to infectious organisms  Interesting examples of biological  polymorphism  in humans RBC Phenotypes  ABO  MN Rh WBC phenotypes  o HLA (human leukocyte antigen) Six loci = hundreds of alleles The most polymorphic genetic system known in humans HLA useful in studies of human population diversity Some populations differ in HLA allele frequencies from other European  populations o Lapps                                         Australians o Sardinians           also                 New Guineans  o Basques Some HLA antigens are associated with varied resistance to diseases such s  malaria, hepatitis B, and HIV
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Some individuals possess a natural immunity to HIV infection Genetic mutation in protein receptor site on T cells: o Homozygotes resistant to HIV o Heterozygotes slowed course of disease Mutation occurs mainly in people of European descent – 10% are immune to  HIV o Other populations – not so much Japanese and west Africans mutation absent o 2% of frican Americans have mutation – genetic admixture some virus uses same T cell receptor site as HIV so a small number of those  populations would also have immunity to HIV o possibly smallpox! HLA also involved in male fertility and ability for PTC (phelylthiocarbamide)  tasting  Bitter tasters can detect toxic plants (deadly nightshade)  Human biocultural evolution : the interaction of cultural and forces of evolution
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