Genetic variants associated with tuberculosis susceptibility are reported this week in Nature Genetics. This represents one of the few genome-wide association studies in African populations to convincingly identify genetic variants associated with susceptibility to an infectious disease.
Tuberculosis has an estimated global annual incidence of 9 million, and 1.3 million deaths are attributed to active disease. The highest burden of disease is found in developing countries of Africa and South-East Asia.
Adrian Hill and colleagues report a genome-wide association for pulmonary tuberculosis, in a combined group of 11,425 individuals from Ghana and The Gambia. They identify a single genomic region associated with progression to disease.