[IWAR] BIO TB/genetic link

From: 7Pillars Partners (partnersat_private)
Date: Wed Jan 21 1998 - 15:10:29 PST

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    First Gene Linked To TB Risk Found
       NEW YORK (Reuters) -- The first genetic factor to be linked to increased
       risk for the development of tuberculosis (TB) in an infected individual
       has been reported by US and Cambodian researchers.
       From a study conducted in Cambodia of patients with TB and a set of
       healthy controls, researchers based at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
       in Boston, Massachusetts, and at the Cambodian Health Committee in Phnom
       Penh, report that those who carry a particular allele called
       HLA-DQB1+0503 were at increased risk for both susceptibility to and
       progression of clinical tuberculosis.
       An allele is one of a pair of genes that carry information on a
       particular genetic trait. In the study published Wednesday in The
       Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers found that
       this particular allele was found only in DNA from patients with active
       TB infection. It was not found in DNA obtained from any healthy subject
       included in the study for the purpose of comparison.
       "Our findings identify the HLA-DQB1+0503 allele as, to our knowledge,
       the first gene associated with TB progression," concludes the research
       team, led by Dr. Anne E. Goldfeld from the Division of Adult Oncology at
       "Confirmation of this finding in other populations and identification of
       additional genetic factors involved in mycobacterial infection should
       improve understanding of the pathogenesis of tuberculosis," wrote Dr.
       Phil B. Fontanarosa, a senior editor of the journal, in a commentary.
       The finding may also "...contribute to strategies for reducing the
       morbidity and mortality from this all too prevalent worldwide
       infection," he added.
       According to the report, about one third of the world population is
       infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes TB.
       About 1 in 10 of those infected will progress to frank disease during
       their lifetime, and the infection accounts for 3 million deaths around
       the world each year. Factors that increase the risk of active TB
       infection include impaired immunity, poverty, and poor nutrition.
       SOURCE: The Journal of the American Medical Association

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