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© Research
Publication : Current opinion in immunology

New insights into human immunity from ancient genomics.

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Current opinion in immunology - 13 May 2021

Kerner G, Patin E, Quintana-Murci L,

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 33992907

Link to DOI – S0952-7915(21)00045-510.1016/j.coi.2021.04.006

Curr Opin Immunol 2021 May; 72(): 116-125

Population genetic studies have clearly indicated that immunity and host defense are among the functions most frequently subject to natural selection, and increased our understanding of the biological relevance of the corresponding genes and their contribution to variable immune traits and diseases. Herein, we will focus on some recently studied forms of human adaptation to infectious agents, including hybridization with now-extinct hominins, such as Neanderthals and Denisovans, and admixture between modern human populations. These studies, which are partly enabled by the technological advances in the sequencing of DNA from ancient remains, provide new insight into the sources of immune response variation in contemporary humans, such as the recently reported link between Neanderthal heritage and susceptibility to severe COVID-19 disease. Furthermore, ancient DNA analyses, in both humans and pathogens, allow to measure the action of natural selection on immune genes across time and to reconstruct the impact of past epidemics on the evolution of human immunity.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33992907