News from ISGlobal
An international study led by Dr. Jordi Sunyer, Head of the Child Health Programme at ISGlobal, identifies a variant of the FUT2 gene that is linked to a lower risk of diarrhoea. The results, obtained through a of genome wide association meta-analysis of diarrhoeal disease in small children in developing countries, were published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.
Diarrhoeal disease, although preventable and treatable, is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old, and is responsible for killing around 760 000 children every year. While in developing countries it is caused by different types of pathogens (virus, bacteria and parasites), in developed most diarrhoeas are caused by viral infections (namely, Rotavirus, Norovirus and Adenovirus). There is growing evidence that host genetic factors can explain part of the differences in susceptibility and response to infection between individuals.
The aims of the study were to identify genetic variants that confer susceptibility to diarrhoeal disease in young children from developed countries and to elucidate the potential biological mechanisms involved. To do so, the authors performed a genome-wide association meta-analysis (combining the results from multiple studies) in the context of a large consortium of birth cohorts with more than 5,000 children.
Bustamante M, Standl M, Bassat Q, Vilor-Tejedor N, Medina-Gomez C, et al. A genome-wide association meta-analysis of diarrhoeal disease in young children identifies FUT2 locus and provides plausible biological pathways. Hum Mol Genet. 2016 Aug 23.