Division of Molecular Biology & Human Genetics
Tuberculosis Host Genetics
Our focus is on finding the genetic underpinnings of TB. Although one third of the world’s population is infected with M. tuberculosis, the vast majority will never develop any clinical disease. Inter-individual variation in the immune response plays a major role in determining different clinical outcomes in infected persons.
We aim to identify these unknown host genetic factors influencing immunity. We have used whole genome scans, linkage studies, candidate gene association studies and intermediate phenotype investigations to find genes influencing susceptibility to TB in a South African population with a very high incidence of TB.
We also take the work to the cellular level by studying the function of the genes discovered. Our sample bank is over 3000 individual DNA samples, and we have a large databank consisting of association data and Affymetrix SNP chip data.