Researchers have revealed a gene region that results in risking a child having a middle ear infection, referred by doctors as acute otitis media (AOM).
A new study offers hints to assist doctors so that they develop effective treatments and help in preventing ear infection, the common illness in childhood.
Researchers have discovered the reason for causing a middle ear infection in children and come to be known to parents due to screaming of the child or an unhappy preschooler.
Pediatricians and parents are familiar with ear infection of a child and this is the reason they receive antibiotics. This is caused by microbes and it is rightly known that genetics also play a vital role. However, for the first time the study focused on largest genetic and the risk vulnerability for acute otitis media.
The researchers performed a GWAS, genome wide association study on two discovery cohorts from 11,000 children with DNA samples. They found an association between AOM and a site on chromosome 6 having the gene FNDC1, and then replicated it in an independent pediatric cohort showing data from 2000 children.
The scientists in further studies showed the mouse gene corresponding to FNDC1 expressed in the middle ear of the animal.
“Although the function of the gene in humans is not well studied, the FNDC1 codes for a protein leading to inflammation are understood,” said Hakonarson.
Hakonarson said that learning about the biological interactions more between genes and pathogens in AOM can help in developing specific therapies for childhood infection, and curing children susceptible to the disease.