Disease profiles in the Indigenous Australian population are suggestive of a common complement control haplotype

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (respectfully referred to as Indigenous Australians herein) are disparately burdened by many infectious and chronic diseases relative to Australians with European genetic ancestry. Some of these diseases are described in other populations to be influenced by the inherited profile of complement genes. These include complement factor B, H, I and complement factor H-related (CFHR) genes that can contribute to a polygenic complotype. Here the focus is on the combined deletion of CFHR1 and 3 to form a common haplotype (CFHR3–1Δ). The prevalence of CFHR3–1Δ is high in people with Nigerian and African American genetic ancestry and correlates to a higher frequency and severity of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) but a lower prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and IgA-nephropathy (IgAN). This pattern of disease is similarly observed among Indigenous Australian communities. Additionally, the CFHR3–1Δ complotype is also associated with increased susceptibility to infection with pathogens, such as Neisseria meningitidis and Streptococcus pyogenes, which also have high incidences in Indigenous Australian communities. The prevalence of these diseases, while likely influenced by social, political, environmental and biological factors, including variants in other components of the complement system, may also be suggestive of the CFHR3–1Δ haplotype in Indigenous Australians. These data highlight a need to define the Indigenous Australian complotypes, which may lead to the discovery of new risk factors for common diseases and progress towards precision medicines for treating complement-associated diseases in Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. Herein, the disease profiles suggestive of a common complement CFHR3–1Δ control haplotype are examined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105453
Number of pages7
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Early online date26 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Acute post streptococcal glomerulonephritis
  • CFHR3–1Δ
  • Complement alternative pathway
  • Indigenous Australian health
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus


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