Ibrahim A. Tangoren
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To the Editors: Dr. Stead neatly summarizes the case for an underlying genetic basis for resistance to infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. His challenge, in his concluding paragraph, to ". . . genetic engineers to identify the genes or genes responsible for enhanced resistance . . ." may be a long time in being answered (1).
Although many homozygous genetic diseases probably arose as population responses to environmental pathogens, this course of investigation may not be fertile. Consider the sickle cell scenario, in which the heterozygous state conferred enough resistance to malaria to maintain the allele in the population, but at
Tangoren IA. Genetics and Tuberculosis Resistance. Ann Intern Med. ;117:796–797. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-117-9-796
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1992;117(9):796-797.
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