A group of 20 genes determines the response of people to dengue fever, which can be predicted to an accuracy of 80% if an individual is more likely to suffer the most severe form of this disease, according to a study published on Tuesday.
So, the authors of a study by Stanford University in California (USA) believe that the way was open to prevent this infection, which affects between 200 and 400 million people in the world every year, and this leads to the death of about half a million of them.
Researchers focused on the general genetic characteristics of patients who presented cases of dengue from late to severe
A report published in the scientific journal Cell Reports analyzed data from five previous studies in which 20 genes were isolated from all patients who developed severe cases of the disease.
“We didn’t compare healthy patients to infected patients, we compared those who had an uncomplicated dengue infection to those who developed severe dengue fever,” said Purves Khatri, a professor of medicine and biomedical sciences at the Stanford School of Medicine. authors of the study.
Thus, the researchers were able to identify a group of genes that make it possible to find out whether the patient is more prone to exacerbating this disease, which is transmitted from a mosquito bite, mainly known as "Aedes aegypti".
To test the accuracy of the identified genes, the researchers conducted a joint analysis with the Foundation for Clinical Research of the Foundation del Valle del Lily in Cali (Colombia).
34 participants with dengue fever were evaluated in the initial stages, for which a prognosis was established based on 20 previously identified genes.
The results completely coincided with an effective diagnosis of who develops the infection to a greater degree and who does not.
“Of course, this sample is small, and we want to confirm our data in large populations,” said Hatri, noting that a new phase of research will also be developed in Paraguay.
By increasing the sample population, it is also possible to clarify data that could potentially lead to a reduction in the number of genes, ”added Shirit Einav, a professor of medicine and microbiology and immunology at Stanford and co-author of the study.