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Research reveals genes predicting dengue severity

The 20 genes group determines people's response to dengue, which can be predicted with 80% accuracy if it is more likely in humans to suffer the most severe form of the disease, according to a survey on Tuesday.

The authors of the Stanford University study in California believe that a pathway has been opened to prevent this infection, which annually affects 200 to 400 million people worldwide, causing a death of about half a million.

Researchers focused on the genetic features of patients who had advanced or severe cases in dengue cases.

The report, published in the journal Cell Reports, analyzed data from the five previous investigations, which showed 20 genes in all patients who had a serious illness.

"We could not compare healthy patients with infected patients, we compared those who had an uncomplicated dengue infection with those who developed heavy dengue," said Purvesh Khatri, professor of medicine and biomedical scientific information at Stanford Medical School. authors of the study.

In this way, scientists were able to create a group of genes that let people know whether the patient is more susceptible to worsening this disease that spreads through mosquito bites known primarily as "Aedes aegypti".

To validate the genes identified, the researchers conducted a joint analysis with the Foundation for the Clinical Research Center del Valle del Lili in Cali, Colombia.

34 dengue participants were evaluated in the early stages of the prognosis of the development of the infection based on the 20 previously identified genes.

The results fully coincided with an effective diagnosis of who would develop the infection to a greater extent and who would not.

"Of course, this population sample is small and we want to confirm our data in larger populations," said Khatri, pointing out that a new phase of the study will be developed in Paraguay.

With a larger population sample, it is also possible to improve data that could potentially lead to a reduction in the number of genes, "added Shirit Einav, professor of medicine and microbiology and immunology at Stanford and co-author of the study.

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