Scientist Identify 7 Genes Linked with Leprosy

Leprosy gene

In a new breakthrough, as many as 7 genes linked with an increased susceptibility to leprosy have been accurately identified by scientists in Singapore and China, after analysis of over 10,000 DNA samples from patients suffering leprosy as well as healthy people from across China.

The study's findings have managed to highlight the important role that the "innate immune response" plays in the contraction and progression of leprosy.

"Though leprosy is not common, the discoveries have significant ramifications for chronic infectious disorders and for host-pathogen interactions in other more prevalent mycobacterial diseases such as tuberculosis", said Dr. Edison Liu, executive director of the Genome Institute of Singapore.

The genes that have been discovered are - CCDC122, C13orf31, NOD2, TNFSF15, HLA-DR, RIPK2 and LRRK2.

"The discovery of these genes is a major breakthrough for research in leprosy and infectious diseases in general, and will be significant in the early diagnosis and development of new treatments", said study co-leader Jianjun Liu.

The study has been detailed online in the New England Journal of Medicine's December 16 edition.