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Gene responsible for immune deficiency discovered

Expression of gene may be responsible for various immune deficiency syndromes, and researchers// have been able to find the genes that cause two different form of immune deficiency conditions called immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency and Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID).

Immune deficiency syndrome may be hereditary or acquired. Hereditary or primary immune deficiency diseases are generally caused by defects in the cells and tissues that are responsible for our immune system, like T cells, B cells, phagocytes, natural killer cells, etc.

The researchers of Children's Hospital Boston had found that mutations of the gene called TACI could cause CVID in people as well as the other syndrome of IgA. TACI affects dual sides of immune response involving the maturation of B cells. B cells are the white blood cells that function as antibodies and help fight the infections.

The discovery of the gene expressions open new doors to prepare diagnostic tests for these conditions, and help clinical practitioners identify problems at an early stage. This will be boon for most sick children because they can have normal levels of IgA and IgG, and have poor antibody responses, that make their condition difficult to diagnose.

Reference: Nature Genetics, July 2005

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