Genetic susceptibility to TB-HIV

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has identified a common genetic variant that makes people infected with HIV much more susceptible to tuberculosis (TB). Sub-Saharan Africa has been particularly hard hit by the TB-HIV dual-epidemic and globally, a higher incidence of tuberculosis is known to occur in people of African origin – genetic susceptibility has long been suspected.

The Yale-led team found that a low-expressing version of the immune response gene known as macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) conferred a two-and-a-half fold increased risk for severe tuberculosis in a group of patients from Uganda. Low-expressers of MIF are almost twice as common among people of African ancestry as Caucasians.

Access the full study on the PNAS website.

Comments are closed.