Researchers at the University of Michigan looked at how much protection additional birth weight added against developing the disease years later. They found that every 1.1 pounds of birth weight decreases the risk of developing tuberculosis later by 46 percent among identical twins.
The association between birth weight and developing tuberculosis is much stronger for males than females, with girls only about 16 percent less likely to develop tuberculosis for every 1.1 pounds (500 grams) of birth weight, said Eduardo Villamor, study author and associate professor at the U-M School of Public Health. The risk decreased by 87 percent for infant males with each pound.
Villamor worked with colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and began the research while at Harvard. The findings are important because tuberculosis infects about one-third of the planet's population, and is second only to HIV in deaths caused by a single infection. Low birth weight of babies is a larger problem in developing countries, but it occurs everywhere, he said.
It's too early to say if insufficient prenatal growth causes clinical tuberculosis, but the findings suggest that may be the case, Villamor said. The fact that researchers studied twins and could control for many genetic and environment factors that influence the development of TB supports the causal relationship.
The study also helps understand the developmental origins of health and disease, Villamor said, which is an emerging field.
"Prenatal exposure to environmental insults, including maternal malnutrition, could program what happens later on in terms of our immune responses to infection, possibly through programming of the immune system," Villamor said. "This study is an example of that."
The study, "Evidence for an effect of fetal growth on the risk of tuberculosis," is set to appear in the Feb. 1 edition of the Journal Infectious Disease.
The University of Michigan School of Public Health has been working to promote health and prevent disease since 1941, and is consistently ranked among the top five public health schools in the nation. Whether making new discoveries in the lab or researching and educating in the field, our faculty, students, and alumni are deployed around the globe to promote and protect our health.
Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences