Genetic variant offers protection against tuberculosis and leprosy

Thursday, March 4, 2010 - 13:21 in Health & Medicine

When people get exposed to the mycobacterium responsible for tuberculosis, some will become sick with a disease that is a major cause of mortality around the world while others simply don't. Now, researchers can point to one important reason for this variation in susceptibility or resistance. It turns out individuals with a certain genetic variation are less likely to succumb to tuberculosis. They also appear to gain protection against leprosy, a disease which is also caused by mycobacterial infection.

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