Tuberculosis study reveals possible new target to reduce disease susceptibility

22/02/2018

Tuberculosis study reveals possible new target to reduce disease susceptibility.

Australians are fortunate to now largely be protected from Tuberculosis (TB), but this means many are unaware of the existing global burden of this deadly disease. One fourth of the world’s population is infected with TB, a disease which is difficult to treat due to drug resistance. A collaborative study has revealed a possible new target to treat TB. The research has been published in Nature Communications.

Scientists led by Centenary Institute’s Dr Warwick Britton and Dr Carl Feng at the University of Sydney, found that a genetic variation called a single-nucleotide polymorphism, found in the human gene called the IFNAR1, is associated with decreased susceptibility to tuberculosis and an increased risk of viral hepatitis in Chinese populations- the study revealing the detrimental effect of IFN signalling in tuberculosis susceptibility.

The world Health Organisation has recognised TB as a significant global issue. Vowing to work towards eradication of the disease by 2030. This study could be a significant step towards that ambitious goal. This new information could be beneficial to help scientists and doctors target IFN signalling in humans to reduce TB susceptibility.

The work was a collaborative project between researchers at Centenary Institute, The Hudson Institute of Medical Research, four Medical Research Hospitals in China, NSW and The University of Sydney.

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