SARS Gene discovered

  • Thread starter Zantra
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  • #1
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http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994226


A gene variant that may make people particularly susceptible to the deadly SARS virus, has been identified by scientists in Taiwan.

The gene variant is prevalent in people of south Chinese origin, so the discovery may help explain why the disease rampaged across southeast Asia emerging in China's southern Guangdong province in November 2002.
 

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  • #2
I read it in a local newspaper some time ago.

I vaguely remember on that same day, there was another article showing us statistics about some kids in China had antibody of SARS before the outbreak, which suggested that SARS might have emerged before we realised its existance. I can't remember the detail. Has anyone heard about it ?
 
  • #3
Monique
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I am not sure what the significance is.. they already sequenced the gene a very long time ago right?
 
  • #4
Monique
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With a very long time I mean about two months after the outbreak became public :)
 
  • #5
Originally posted by Monique
I am not sure what the significance is.. they already sequenced the gene a very long time ago right?
I think you've misread the article. :smile:

The gene discovered is found in people of south Chinese origin, which may make them more susceptible to SARS infection. It isn't the genetic sequence of SARS virus.
 
  • #6
Monique
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I haven't read the article yet

So what you are saying is that those people have the viral gene integrated into their own genome? So that when those people's immune system takes a plunge the virus will take advantage and become active again?
 
  • #7
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It's the gene for the HLA antigen, the major immune typing property, which has several varieties (alleles) distributed through the human population. One allele, common in south Chinese populations conduces to SARS, another, common to native Taiwanese (not mainland immigrants) does not. Of course this is all statistical, just a tendency, not a deterministic cause.
 

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