Genes determine when and why rheumatoid arthritis is triggered

A new international study has revealed how genetics could explain why different environmental exposures can trigger the onset of different forms of rheumatoid arthritis.

It was already known that a proportion of rheumatoid arthritis patients test positive for autoantibodies, whilst about 30% remain sero-negative. In this study, researchers from the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Genetics and Genomics at The University of Manchesterhave better defined the genetic distinction between these two disease subtypes: sero-positive and sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis.

The researchers have now established that different genetic variants of a protein that plays a vital role in how the body’s immune system fights infection are associated with the two forms of rheumatoid arthritis. This provides clues to the theory that exposure to different infectious agents, such as bacteria or viruses, trigger the different forms of rheumatoid arthritis in susceptible individuals.

Read the full, original story: Genetics can explain why infections trigger onset of different types of rheumatoid arthritis

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