Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human genetic vulnerabilities may underlie infectious diseases, scientist argues

Date:
February 21, 2010
Source:
Rockefeller University
Summary:
Infectious diseases in the general population depend to a large extent on underlying genetic vulnerabilities, an expert in innate immunity says. While microbes are required for infection, he says, one's genetic background could make the difference between fighting an infection and succumbing to it.

Rockefeller University's Jean Laurent Casanova spoke on the connection between genetics and infectious diseases at the 2010 annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on Friday, February 19, focusing on current findings and putting them in context in this small but emerging field.

Related Articles


The talk, titled "Inborn Errors of Innate Immunity in Humans," was presented at AAAS's symposium on innate immunity at 1:50 p.m. in Room 5A at the San Diego Convention Center.

Drawing from his most recent work on invasive pneumococcal disease and herpes simplex encephalitis, Casanova presented evidence that infectious diseases in the general population depend to a large extent on underlying genetic vulnerabilities. While microbes are required for infection, he says, one's genetic background could make the difference between fighting an infection and succumbing to it.

"Individual patients lacking one or another molecular component of innate immunity are highly vulnerable to a narrow range of microbes," says Casanova. "We try to describe individual mutations and specific components in innate immunity that either confer resistance or susceptibility to a specific microbe or genus."

The idea that infectious diseases may develop because of genetic vulnerabilities has encountered some resistance in the field of microbiology, which asserts that infectious diseases are strictly environmental, and among immunologists, who are uncomfortable with the possibility that certain immunological molecules merely target a narrow range of microbes.

"Our goal is to put these conflicting theories into a unified conceptual framework for exploring the molecular genetic basis of infectious diseases in humans," says Casanova. "It will lead to a more informed and precise approach to treating infections."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rockefeller University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University. "Human genetic vulnerabilities may underlie infectious diseases, scientist argues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100219204419.htm>.
Rockefeller University. (2010, February 21). Human genetic vulnerabilities may underlie infectious diseases, scientist argues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100219204419.htm
Rockefeller University. "Human genetic vulnerabilities may underlie infectious diseases, scientist argues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100219204419.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins