Note: Thanks to Mindy for forwarding this news item – Alan
Alternative forms of two genes are associated with a boost in immunity to hepatitis C after childbirth, a study led by a Nationwide Children’s Hospital physician-researcher shows.
At three months postpartum, the number of viruses circulating in the blood declined sharply in most women who carried particular versions of IFNL3 and HLA-DPB1 genes. Mothers lacking these gene variants experienced little change in viral levels after delivery.
The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study focused on hepatitis C, but it may serve as a model for identifying factors that restore immunity to other chronic infections, the researchers suggest.