• Article

Systematic detection of positive selection in the human-pathogen interactome and lasting effects on infectious disease susceptibility

Infectious disease has shaped the natural genetic diversity of humans throughout the world. A new approach to capture positive selection driven by pathogens would provide information regarding pathogen exposure in distinct human populations and the constantly evolving arms race between host and disease-causing agents. We created a human pathogen interaction database and used the integrated haplotype score (iHS) to detect recent positive selection in genes that interact with proteins from 26 different pathogens. We used the Human Genome Diversity Panel to identify specific populations harboring pathogen-interacting genes that have undergone positive selection. We found that human genes that interact with 9 pathogen species show evidence of recent positive selection. These pathogens are Yersenia pestis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) 1, Zaire ebolavirus, Francisella tularensis, dengue virus, human respiratory syncytial virus, measles virus, Rubella virus, and Bacillus anthracis. For HIV-1, GWAS demonstrate that some naturally selected variants in the host-pathogen protein interaction networks continue to have functional consequences for susceptibility to these pathogens. We show that selected human genes were enriched for HIV susceptibility variants (identified through GWAS), providing further support for the hypothesis that ancient humans were exposed to lentivirus pandemics. Human genes in the Italian, Miao, and Biaka Pygmy populations that interact with Y. pestis show significant signs of selection. These results reveal some of the genetic footprints created by pathogens in the human genome that may have left lasting marks on susceptibility to infectious disease.

Citation

Corona, E., Wang, L., Ko, D., & Patel, C. J. (2018). Systematic detection of positive selection in the human-pathogen interactome and lasting effects on infectious disease susceptibility. PLoS One, 13(5), [0196676]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196676