The recent availability of large-scale sequencing DNA data allowed researchers to investigate how genomic variation is distributed among populations. While demographic factors explain genome-wide population genetic diversity levels, scans for signatures of natural selection pinpointed several regions under non-neutral evolution. Recent studies found an enrichment of immune-related genes subjected to natural selection, suggesting that pathogens and infectious diseases have imposed a strong selective pressure throughout human history. Pathogen-mediated selection often targeted regulatory sites of genes belonging to the same biological pathway. Results from these studies have the potential to identify mutations that modulate infection susceptibility by integrating a population genomic approach with molecular immunology data and large-scale functional annotations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy