Genetic Variants Confer Susceptibility to Meningococcal Disease

Genetic Variants Confer Susceptibility to Meningococcal Disease

A genome wide association study in addition to two replication studies were conducted by the scientists at the Genome Institute of Singapore a biomedical research institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research along with the colleagues from the UK, Austria, Spain and The Netrgerlands. Major genetic variants that confer susceptibility to Meningococcal disease were discovered with the help of the study.

As many as 1,443 MD patients were included in these studies and the information derived from the studies will help in developing of vaccines for MD, after research is completed.

The susceptibility to MD is because of human genetic variation, as per the studies. The finding was published in Nature Genetics on 8 August, 2010. It was led by GIS Senior Research Scientist Dr. Sonia Davila, Prof. Michael Levin, Professor of Pediatrics and International Child Health at Imperial College London and GIS Senior Group Leader and Associate Director for Infectious Diseases Dr Martin Hibberd.

Dr. Sonia Davila said that CFH is hijacked by the N. meningitidis bacteria so as to save it from complement intervened killing; hence CFH is famous in MD.

Dr. Martin Hibberd said, “Our work confirms CFH as a possible vaccine target and should improve future strategies to prevent sero-group B disease”.