The gene that turns a common cold into a severe disease

About a kid in a thousand gets severely sick when contracting an otherwise benign common cold. Without access to modern medical care, they generally die. Researchers just discovered a mutation in their genome responsible for this extreme susceptibility. The discovery might already contribute to better prevention and care for these unlucky young patients.

Severe viral respiratory infections in children with IFIH1 loss-of-function mutations

Samira Asgari, Luregn J. Schlapbach, Stéphanie Anchisi, Christian Hammer, Istvan Bartha, Thomas Junier, Geneviève Mottet-Osman, Klara M. Posfay-Barbe, David Longchamp, Martin Stocker, Samuel Cordey, Laurent Kaiser, Thomas Riedel, Tony Kennak, Deborah Long, Andreas Schibler, Amalio Telenti, Caroline Tapparel, Paul J. McLaren, Dominique Garcin, and Jacques Fellay

Published in PNAS, July 2017 DOI 10.1073/pnas.1704259114

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