Statistical genetics of infectious diseases

Published on April 30, 2017   62 min

Other Talks in the Series: Statistical Genetics

Please wait while the transcript is being prepared...
Good day, everyone. My name is YY Teo. I'm currently at the National University of Singapore. And I'm the center director for the Center for Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Research. Today, we're going to talk about "Statistical Genetics of Infectious Diseases".
Now, there has been quite a lot of progress in genomics over the past 15 years. So in 2001, we started with the sequencing of the first draft of the human genome. And we did a spectrum of about 10 years or decade. We have now moved from just sequencing one human, to sequencing thousands of humans and also not just the humans, but also the organisms, the pathogens that are inside and on the surface of the skins of humans. Now given this rapid progress, there has been a lot of opportunities and challenges for the use of genomics to look at a spectrum of diseases.
So, if we look at the developments that have happened from the period of 2005 to 2015, in these 10 years, we have moved from a case where we knew very little about the genetics or complex traits and common diseases, to knowing in excess of 4,000 specific positions in the human genome that have been found to be associated with the severity of a condition or with the onset of a particular condition.
Now when we think about infectious diseases, there has been similarly a lot of discoveries that have been made. So for example, there have been identifications of particular genetic polymorphisms that protect or are associated with malaria in the West Africa, in the Gambia as well as in Ghana, which uses data from the Gambia as an add-on to improve the statistical power to identify the loci for severe malaria in Ghana. Now, this was similarly the case in dengue where again using a genome-wide association design, that we have been identifying genetic polymorphisms that confers higher risk, or conversely a protection effect against dengue as well as enteric fever and tuberculosis.