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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2002 Feb;5(1):111-7.

Immunity to intracellular pathogens as a complex genetic trait.

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Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Although the role of host heredity in susceptibility to infectious diseases is significant, the genetic control of immunity to infection remains poorly understood. Advances in experimental and epidemiological analyses of complex genetic traits have led to the discoveries of novel genetic determinants of host resistance. New loci that control susceptibility to a number of intracellular pathogens have been identified using mouse models of infectious diseases. The contributions of individual loci, however, vary in quantitative and qualitative manner, depending on mechanisms of pathogen virulence and genetic background of the host. In this review, we discuss how genetic analysis of host resistance contributes to further understanding of host immunity and pathogenesis of intracellular infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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