Monday, April 11, 2005

443: Ipr1 gene mediates innate immunity to tuberculosis

Ipr1 gene mediates innate immunity to tuberculosis:

An estimated eight million people are infected each year with the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and more than two million die annually. Yet only about 10% of those infected develop tuberculosis. Genetic variation within host populations is known to be significant in humans and animals, but the nature of genetic control of host resistance to tuberculosis remains poorly understood. Previously we mapped a new genetic locus on mouse chromosome 1, designated sst1 (for supersusceptibility to tuberculosis 1). Here we show that this locus mediates innate immunity in sst1 congenic mouse strains and identify a candidate gene, Intracellular pathogen resistance 1 (Ipr1), within the sst1 locus.

Did you see how they just slipped between people and mice? Like it made perfect sense? That's evolution at work. The same gene in both species, and it has the same effect. In addition to making people susceptible to disease, it may have effects on various cellular mechanisms.