Authors: Martha Powell, Future Science Group
New research has suggested that an inherited genetic trait appears to protect some individuals from MRSA infections.
The study, published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, adds important insights into the genetic factors that predispose some patients to persistent MRSA infections, and could lead to improved treatment options in the future.
The team, led by researchers from Duke Health (NC, USA), analyzed two cohorts of patients, matching them by age, sex, health conditions and risk factors for MRSA infections. In total 68 participants were identified, half of which had persistent MRSA infection and half of which had cleared the infection from their bloodstream.
What role do genes play in infectious diseases?
A complex combination of environmental, pathogen and host genetic factors plays a role in determining both susceptibility to particular microbes and the course of infection. Many studies have mapped and identified genes that could impact disease susceptibility including for malaria, HIV and tuberculosis infection.
What is whole-exome sequencing?
Whole-exome sequencing is a genomic technique for sequencing all of the exome – the protein-coding region of genes in a genome.