Understanding a Global Epidemic: Why Africans with HIV Are More Susceptible to TB

Helen Dodson, Medical Xpress, July 23, 2013

Yale researchers have identified a common genetic variant that makes people infected with HIV much more susceptible to tuberculosis (TB). The study is published in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death by infectious disease, causing 1.5 million deaths around the world each year. Its prevalence is rising because of drug resistance and an increasing number of patients who are co-infected with HIV. They represent nearly 30 percent of all TB-related deaths. The convergence of these epidemics is particularly prominent on the African continent, which has the highest rates of TB cases and deaths—80 percent of which occur in people living with HIV. Globally, a higher incidence of tuberculosis is known to occur in Africans and African-Americans than in American or European Caucasians, and  has long been suspected.

The Yale-led team found that a low-expressing version of the immune response gene known as macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF)—a cell-signaling molecule secreted by the body’s —conferred a two-and-a-half fold increased risk for severe tuberculosis in a group of patients from Uganda. Low-expressers of MIF are almost twice as common among people of African ancestry as Caucasians.

“This helps to explain the increased incidence of TB in Africa,” said senior author Richard Bucala, M.D., professor of rheumatology, pathology, and epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Public Health.


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  • Spartacus

    Now, if only we could convince marxists to stop sending them medication, we might be going somewhere…

    • Nick A Siggers

      I theorize, but have not looked for supporting data, that keeping HIV infected people alive longer through the use of anti virals, would actually perpetuate the spread of the disease.
      If my theory is correct, liberals have once again made the problem worse.

  • Oil Can Harry

    On behalf o’ de NAACP I be plannin’ to sue these diseases fo’ racism.

    Da only reason you white folks don’t get AIDS an’ TB is cuz y’all gots WHITE BLOOD CELL PRIVILEGE!

    • And blacks have the anti-malarial sickle cell privilege.
      Yes, sickle cell protects from malaria.

      • Correct. The sickle-cell gene is carried on the X and Y chromosomes. In Africa, if you have one of these genes, you’re immune to malaria. If you have two of these genes, you get sickle cell anemia and die. If you have none of these genes, you catch malaria and die. It’s an adaptation that saves half the population.

    • Michelle

      Hahahaha!! Im literally laughing out loud!! Good one,that was funny 😀

  • din_do_nuffins

    More proof that racist scientists working for Ronald Racist Reagan invented racist HIV and TB to make an unsuspecting public believe racist lies from quack pseudo scientists about racist genetics.

  • bigone4u

    Would it be “rayciss” for a white person in need of a blood transfusion to ask a doctor to only transfuse blood from a white donor? I think not, given what we know and speculating about what we might learn about black/white genetic differences.

    • Romulus

      Do what I do, donate blood for yourself at your preferred hospital. Granted, one does not always have the facility of their choice at their disposal,but it is still one option at the very least.

      • For planned operations, this is the best way to go.

        • Romulus

          Absolutely. A portable refrigeration system is a good asset to have on hand during a survival situation. As long as one can tap into a power source at regular intervals.

          • A good first aid and EMT (emergency medical technician) course is also a good asset. I received quite thorough training at first aid, industrial & laboratory safety and some firefighting before being allowed to teach laboratory chemistry to undergrads at CU Boulder. One of my friends went on to become certified as an EMT because he discovered that ski resorts in Colorado allow licensed EMTs to ski for free; they want those people on the slopes.

            It has come in handy a few times for me. I had a nasty accident with a grinding wheel in the machine shop in federal prison in 2002, but had already coagulated it by the time I got to the infirmary.

          • Romulus

            I enjoy your posts. You are quite the scholar. It pains me deeply, what’s happened to your once beautiful state.

          • Once one’s outside the Denver area, it’s still quite nice here. Two of the libtard Dumb-O-crats who voted for the high-capacity magazine ban are facing recall elections, and most of the state’s county sheriffs have flatly announced that they will refuse to uphold this law.

          • Romulus

            You just brightened my evening with that announcement. I hear nothing from the MSM. I wasn’t exactly surprised,though, because aspen has been a playground for the Hollywood elite and the sodomites for decades. It was only a matter of time that they exodus Calif.after they squeezed it dry and gave it back to Mexico. I didn’t think the transformation would be so quick.Keep up the good fight.

  • Puggg

    Other than this detailed study, the results make sense. HIV makes you vulnerable to any infection, even a common cold will kill you if the HIV ruins your immune system enough.

  • AngloCelt

    AIDs and tuberculosis are social constructs.


    Some good news for a change

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    “Its prevalence is rising because of drug resistance and an increasing number of patients who are co-infected with HIV.”

    That section about drug resistance is partially a problem of their own making. Blacks are notorious for not taking their entire prescribed dosage of medication. As soon as they feel better, they sell the rest or give it to a family member or something, allowing the most hardy microbes to survive and reproduce, creating widespread drug resistance.

    Of course, this is what they do in America, but I imagine it happens in Africa as well, probably even more often because of how much harder it is to get medication.

    • In the third world, one often runs across counterfeit medications, which contain far less of the active ingredients than they are supposed to.

  • MBlanc46

    Once again, the medical profession asserts a genetic basis for racial difference. But heaven help you if you try to do so for behavioral racial difference.

  • Lots of cancers are caused by slow-acting viruses. Karposi’s sarcoma is caused by herpesvirus 8, and is common among HIV sufferers. That said, these cancers are rarely the cause of death in HIV patients.

  • Cress Welsing is a psychiatrist and not an epidemiologist, and all her theories really reveal is her own towering inferiority complex and paranoid lunacy.