DNA methylation patterns associated with konzo in Sub-Saharan Africa

Kristen Kocher, Surajit Bhattacharya, Matthew S. Bramble, Daniel Okitundu-Luwa, Dieudonne Mumba Ngoyi, Desire Tshala-Katumbay, Eric Vilain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Konzo, a disease characterized by sudden, irreversible spastic paraparesis, affecting up to 10% of the population in some regions of Sub-Saharan Africa during outbreaks, is strongly associated with dietary exposure to cyanogenic bitter cassava. The molecular mechanisms underlying the development of konzo remain largely unknown. Here, through an analysis of 16 individuals with konzo and matched healthy controls from the same outbreak zones, we identified 117 differentially methylated loci involved in numerous biological processes that may identify cyanogenic-sensitive regions of the genome, providing the first study of epigenomic alterations associated with a clinical phenotype of konzo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number179
JournalClinical epigenetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Cassava
  • Cyanide
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Konzo
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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