Feb 2, 2012Science and Technology
'Goldilocks' gene could determine best treatment for TB

In the future, tuberculosis patients may receive treatments according to what version of a single 'Goldilocks' gene they have, says an international research team from Oxford University, King's College London, Vietnam and the US. This is one of the first examples in infectious disease where an individual's genetic profile can determine which drug will work best for them. The scientists found that people generate an immune response to tuberculosis that is 'too much', 'too little' or 'just right', according to what versions they have of the LTA4H gene. The findings indicate that patients are likely to benefit from different drug treatments depending on their LTA4H gene profile. Furthermore, the researchers show that steroids used as part of the standard treatment for the most severe form of tuberculosis, TB meningitis, only benefit some patients.

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