“The Yale-led team found that a low-expressing version of the immune response gene known as macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF)—a cell-signaling molecule secreted by the body’s innate immune system—conferred a two-and-a-half two and a half-fold increased risk for severe tuberculosis in a group of patients from Uganda. Low-expressers of MIF are almost twice as common among people of African ancestry as Caucasians.
“This helps to explain the increased incidence of TB in Africa,” said senior author Richard Bucala, M.D., professor of rheumatology, pathology, and epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Public Health.
Furthermore, this variation may be especially important in people co-infected with HIV, who have a compromised immune system. “Therapies to augment MIF action could provide a new tool to combat the global TB epidemic,” Bucala said.”
So, what’s the first issue – low MIF expression or ‘HIV’? Both seem to be attributed to suppressed immunity.
[Source: Medical Xpress]