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Immune Differences Between Americans of European And African Origins Related to Neanderthals – Research!!

The African Americans have a stronger immune response to infections than those of European descent, according to a US-Canadian study published in the journal  Cell .

Luis Barreiro of the University of Montreal and colleagues also show that these differences are mostly genetic, inherited from our ancestors and influenced by natural selection.

The study was conducted with 175 Americans, half of which was of African origin and one European.

The immune system of African Americans reacts more strongly, ”  but we can not conclude that it is better, because a stronger immune response also has negative effects such as increased susceptibility to autoimmune inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease. Too much inflammation can also damage organs and leave scars. In short, a strong immune response in a certain context can be beneficial, but inappropriate in another context.  ”

”  The immune system responds to infection causing inflammation (redness, warmth, swelling, etc.) to neutralize and eliminate the infection. It was already known to scientists that African Americans are more susceptible to autoimmune inflammatory diseases, therefore more likely to suffer eg tuberculosis or scleroderma.  ”

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”  The 175 participants (…) provided blood samples which were extracted from the macrophages, which are cells of the immune system whose role is to kill pathogens causing infections. The research team then infected macrophages with these two kinds of bacteria (Listeria and Salmonella) to observe the various immune responses: African Americans macrophages killed three times faster the bacteria after 24 hours infection.  ”

”  One of our hypotheses, the researcher said, is that during the prehistoric period, after the human population had migrated out of Africa, they were exposed to fewer pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites), it which reduced the immune response, thus tissue inflammation. This reduction in immune response (and inflammation) was probably favored because of the adverse consequences of acute or chronic inflammation, which are major contributors to the development of autoimmune inflammatory diseases.  ”

”  Another hypothesis is that the lower immune response detected in Europeans would be the result of a less vigorous process of natural selection in an environment where the number of pathogens is reduced or at least different in nature than those found in Africa.  ”

Neanderthal man, missing for 30 000 years, ”  also has its role in the immune response to infections. The Neanderthals, before disappearing, colonized Europe, not Africa. So he mixed their genes with humans African Cro-Magnon spread in Europe. Analysis of Luis Barreiro team shows that about 3% of the genes involved in the immune response of the difference between African-Americans and Euro-Americans come from the Neanderthals!  ”

Source: Psychomedia

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Written by How Africa

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