Researchers discover genes resistant to cholera
Harvard University researchers discovered genes that are naturally resistant to cholera. As Elinor Karlsson and her team write in the journal "Science Translational Medicine", resistance has developed over time in the historical, geographical center of the disease in the Ganges Delta, where the population has been in contact with the pathogens for thousands of years came.
Resistance to cholera developed in the course of evolution. For their investigation, the researchers analyzed the genome of 42 randomly selected families in Bangladesh. In doing so, they discovered resistance genes against cholera. For the people who lived along the Ganges-Detas, resistance was an advantage in evolution, the researchers report. They were threatened by the pathogens of cholera for thousands of years, since this region's historical and geographical origin is located. Over time, resistance to protection against cholera developed.
"Our results shed light on the genetic basis of the cholera resistance of the Ganges Delta population and present a promising approach to identifying genetic factors that influence susceptibility to infectious diseases," the researchers write. The results could also drive the development of vaccines and therapies.
Every year between three and five million people worldwide develop cholera. The disease is one of the serious infectious diseases that, if left untreated, can lead to the death of the person concerned. Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which is usually ingested through drinking water or food contaminated with faeces. The pathogen affects the small intestine and leads to severe diarrhea and severe vomiting. This can result in a lack of fluid in the body, which leads to dehydration and loss of electrolyte. Affected people should therefore drink plenty of fluids, sugar and salt. If the course of the disease is severe, it is necessary to take an antibiotic. (ag)
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