[Genetic susceptibility to infections].

Authors:
S J Ott, S Schreiber
Year of publication:
2011
Volume:
52
Issue:
9
Issn:
0020-9554
Journal title abbreviated:
INTERNIST
Journal title long:
Der Internist
Impact factor:
0.336
Abstract:
Infectious diseases are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The spectrum of clinical manifestations of infections is highly variable, ranging from asymptomatic infection or mild illness to rapid progression of disease and death. Twin studies first showed an inheritable component of many infections and epidemiological and genetic studies revealed definite gene loci and polymorphisms for most of the clinically relevant infectious diseases. Reliable genetic markers which represent susceptibility or resistance to infections, prognosis of disease and response to treatment are necessary to define risk populations and to plan therapy regimens. Genetic research can also help in identifying target structures for novel therapy strategies and anitimicrobial agents. In this article the genetic background of important infections is reviewed and examples of successful exploitation of genetic findings and translation into practical medicine are given.