Genetics of flu susceptibility: Why the flu is life-threatening for some, and quite mild for others

Via Scoop.itVirology News

A genetic finding could help explain why influenza becomes a life-threatening disease to some people while it has only mild effects in others.  New research led by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has identified for the first time a human gene that influences how we respond to influenza infection.

People who carry a particular variant of a gene called IFITM3 are significantly more likely to be hospitalised when they fall ill with influenza than those who carry other variants, the team found. This gene plays a critical role in protecting the body against infection with influenza and a rare version of it appears to make people more susceptible to severe forms of the disease. The results are published in the journal Nature.

 

Graphic courtesy Russell Kightley Media

Via www.sciencedaily.com

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