Jornal de Medicina Respiratória Clínica


The Role of Genetics in Tuberculosis Susceptibility and Treatment Response

Gunar Leu

Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB remains a major public health problem worldwide, with an estimated 10 million new cases and 1.4 million deaths reported in 2019. While the risk of TB is influenced by environmental and lifestyle factors, genetic factors also play a role in determining susceptibility to TB and response to treatment. Recent studies have identified several genes that are associated with an increased risk of developing TB, including genes involved in the immune response to the bacterium. For example, variants in the genes encoding the cytokines interleukin-10 (IL-10) and Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-α) have been shown to increase susceptibility to TB. Other studies have identified genes involved in the metabolism of anti-TB drugs, such as the cytochrome P450 enzymes, that can influence treatment response. Understanding the genetic basis of TB susceptibility and treatment response has important implications for the development of new TB treatments and vaccines. By identifying the specific genes and genetic pathways that are involved in TB, researchers can develop targeted therapies that are tailored to individual patients based on their genetic makeup. This personalized approach to TB treatment has the potential to improve treatment outcomes and reduce the risk of drug resistance.