Global Health: Scientists Link a Gene Mutation to Rheumatic Heart Disease

yet in poor countries where doctors in addition to also also diagnostic kits are scarce in addition to also also cardiac surgery is actually rare, more than 230,000 people die of rheumatic heart disease every year, mostly children in addition to also also young adults.

The Oxford study, published in Nature Communications which month, was done in Fiji, brand-new Caledonia in addition to also also additional South Pacific islands “because which’s one of the top reasons young people die there,” said Dr. Tom Parks, a genetics expert at Oxford in addition to also also the lead author.

People who inherit a particular genetic mutation coming from one parent are about 40 percent more likely to get valve damage if a strep infection is actually not cured, Dr. Parks in addition to also also his colleagues found. Those getting which coming from both parents are almost twice as likely to wind up with damaged heart valves.

The mutation appears within the genes serving as blueprints for antibodies made by white blood cells. Heart valves are not directly inflamed in addition to also also scarred by the strep bacteria. Researchers believe the damage is actually done by the antibodies in addition to also also the killer white blood cells they attract.

The dangerous mutation is actually found in about 15 percent of Europeans in addition to also also Asians yet in more than 20 percent of Pacific Islanders.

which is actually even more common in Africans, Dr. Parks said, yet which is actually not clear how many deaths which causes there — possibly because young Africans face even more lethal threats like malaria in addition to also also H.I.V.

Little is actually known about antibody genes, he added: “They are in a bit of genome which’s complex, with lots of duplication in addition to also also whole bits swapped around.”

The mutation was spotted by using Oxford’s supercomputers to analyze gene sequences coming from 3,000 individuals.

Dr. Parks compared the research to driving around a place like Queens, where any wrong digit in a long string of numbers leads to a different address. “You kind of get lost,” he said.

Pediatricians are extremely eager to have a streptococcus A vaccine, especially as more antibiotics fail to control the infection.

yet which seems clear, Dr. Parks said, which any brand-new vaccine will have two jobs: to induce the formation of protective antibodies in addition to also also to avoid triggering any harmful ones.

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Global Health: Scientists Link a Gene Mutation to Rheumatic Heart Disease

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