Host genetic susceptibility to TB study


Genetic factors are known to have an important role in the development of tuberculosis. It is important to understand the genetic mechanisms of disease in order to develop new strategies for vaccination and TB diagnosis. GenTB is a study of human genetic susceptibility to tuberculosis. The study is conducted by the Centenary Institute at the University of Sydney, in partnership with the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. Three hospitals in northern Vietnam have enrolled over 1,500 TB patients and 1,500 healthy control subjects, with a goal of comparing their genetic profiles to determine whether there are any specific factors associated with susceptibility to TB. DNA is extracted from blood samples and transported to Sydney, where it is tested for a range of genetic variants that may explain increased susceptibility to human TB. Testing of a number of genetic variants has identified some promising variants, with further recruitment and testing to be conducted in the near future.