Two gene variants in dengue identified

October 18th, 2011 - 1:58 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 18 (IANS) Researchers have identified two genetic variants that increase chances of your being infected with severe dengue and some people’s genetic make-up predisposes them to the infection. But no clinically-approved vaccine or specific treatments exist for the disease, studies suggest.

Researchers from the Wellcome Trust, Oxford University, and Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) identified changes in the DNA code in two genes — MICB on chromosome 6 and PLCE1 on chromosome 10 — increasing the child’s susceptibility to dengue.

Their findings were based on a comparative study of 2,008 patients against 2,018 controls (who were dengue free), all children, followed up with another set of 1,737 cases and 2,934 controls, also children, the journal Nature Genetics reports.

Dengue is the most common mosquito-borne infection after malaria, with an estimated 100 million infections occurring worldwide annually.

Symptoms range from mild to incapacitating high fever, with potentially deadly complications, said a Wellcome Trust statement.

In children, severe dengue is characterised by increased vascular permeability, a state in which blood plasma is able to ‘leak’ from blood vessels to surrounding tissues.

This is a potentially deadly complication that can lead to dengue shock syndrome - a life-threatening form of hypovolemic shock caused by a decrease in the volume of blood plasma.

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