Monday 16 August 2010 11:40am
Professor Philip Hill, is part of a consortium that has successfully used genome scanning to identify a gene associated with increased susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB) in African populations.
The identification of the genetic variant linked with greater TB susceptibility was recently published in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics. Using a technique known as a genome-wide association (GWA) study, the researchers scanned 333,000 genome sequence variants in more than 11,000 people living in Africa.
The study was led by Professor Adrian Hill from the University of Oxford, UK, and Professor Rolf Horstmann from the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany.
University of Otago Centre for International Health Director Professor Philip Hill oversaw the study's arm in The Gambia. This work involved providing DNA samples from TB cases and controls proven by laboratory testing to have or not have TB, respectively.
Professor Hill says “identifying genetic variants that are linked to TB susceptibility can help with breakthroughs in understanding the relationship between humans and the disease. For example, if a variant of a gene that encodes for a particular component of the immune system is found to be associated with developing TB, then this part of the immune system can be investigated as a target to be stimulated by new interventions such as vaccines.”
Read the full media release:
Otago researcher helps identify gene linked to TB susceptibility in Africans 16 August 2010, University of Otago website