SNPS AND HEPATITIS
ANCHOR LEAD: SMALL DNA CHANGES CAN HAVE BIG CONSEQUENCES IN HEPATITIS C INFECTION, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Snps are shorthand for single nucleotide polymorphisms, simple changes in the order of the building blocks of DNA. Now a Johns Hopkins study led by David Thomas, chair of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins, has shown that snps can predict who is most likely to clear the liver infection known as hepatitis C and who isn’t. Such information may also have important clinical consequences.
THOMAS: Knowing that somebody is going to have a harder time responding to today’s standard of care does make it more important to use new drugs and more powerful drugs that are being developed. The snp might be used to help determine whether or not it’s safe to give new drugs because sometimes, if you give the new drugs together with the old drugs and the new drugs don’t work completely then the person can become resistant to the new drugs and so it might give us some clues as to how to use not only the treatments that we have available today but also the ones that are being made for the future. :33
At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.