Genetic architecture of immune system

A new study has identified the key genes involved in the breadth of our immune response that may influence our susceptibility to diseases such rheumatoid arthritis, leprosy and malaria.

The study, led by King’s College London and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggests much of our immune system is under the control of our genes and may explain why autoimmune disorders run in some families and others are more susceptible to infections.

Our immune system has evolved over millions of years into a remarkable defence mechanism offering us rapid protection from major environmental threats and pathogens. However, despite recent discoveries of genetic variants associated with autoimmunity and infection, how our genes control critical components of our immune system has remained poorly understood up to now.

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