Your ethnic background could influence the way in which your body fights tuberculosis. Over the thousands of years that humans have been infected with TB, people of different ethnicities have evolved different immune mechanisms for handling the bacteria, a finding that could affect the outcome of planned trials for new TB drugs.
Normally such variations in immune response result from differences in the strain of the bacterium causing the infection. But the contrasting changes in markers in the two groups did not relate to the strain of TB involved but instead correlated closely with an individual’s genetic variant of a protein that carries vitamin D in the blood, which varies between ethnic groups.
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