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Human Immunology through the Lens of Evolutionary Genetics
- Quintana-Murci, Lluis
- Cell 2019 v.177 no.1 pp. 184-199
- defense mechanisms, evolution, genes, genetic variation, human population, humans, immune response, pathogens, population genetics
- Pathogen-imposed selection pressures have been paramount during human evolution. Detecting such selection signatures in ancient and modern human genomes can thus help us to identify genes of temporal and spatial immunological relevance. Admixture with ancient hominins and between human populations has been a source of genetic diversity open to selection by infections. Furthermore, cultural transitions, such as the advent of agriculture, have exposed humans to new microbial threats, with impacts on host defense mechanisms. The integration of population genetics and systems immunology holds great promise for the increased understanding of the factors driving immune response variation between individuals and populations.