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Definition of Tuberculosis, genetic susceptibility to

Tuberculosis, genetic susceptibility to: Genes that make someone susceptible to developing tuberculosis (TB) when exposed to the bacterium (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that causes it.

Although there are millions of new cases of TB each year, not everyone exposed to the bacterium becomes infected nor does everybody infected with it develop clinical symptoms of TB.

A genetic region has been discovered to be associated with clinical TB. People with at least one high-risk copy of this genetic region are ten times more likely to develop TB than normal. The genetic region contains a gene, NRAMP1, that is known to be involved in the susceptibility to leprosy, which is caused by a bacterium related to TB.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=14281
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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