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Keywords:

  • genome wide association;
  • Helicobacter pylori;
  • Malay;
  • single nucleotide polymorphism

Objectives

To identify gene polymorphisms that differ between Malays, Han Chinese and South Indians, and to identify candidate genes for the investigation of their role in protecting Malays from Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.

Methods

Malay participants born and residing in Kelantan with a documented absence of H. pylori infection were studied. Venous blood was used for genotyping using the Affymetrix 50K Xba I kit. CEL files from 141 Han Chinese and 76 South Indians were analyzed to compare their allele frequency with that of the Malays using fixation index (FST) calculation. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with the highest allele frequency (outliers) were then examined for their functional characteristics using F-SNP software and the Entrez Gene database.

Results:

In all, 37 Malays were enrolled in the study; of whom 7 were excluded for low genotyping call rates. The average FST estimated from the genome-wide data were 0.038 (Malays in Kelantan vs the South Indians), 0.015 (Malays in Kelantan vs Han Chinese) and 0.066 (Han Chinese vs South Indians), respectively. The outlier gene variants present in Malays with functional characteristics were C7orf10 (FST 0.29988), TSTD2 (FST 0.43278), SMG7 (FST 0.29877) and XPA (FST 0.43393 and 0.43644).

Conclusion

Genetic variants possibly related to protection against H. pylori infection in ethnic Malays from the north-eastern region of Peninsular Malaysia were identified for testing in subsequent trials among infected and uninfected Malays.