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Genetic flaw discovered that turns flu into a killer

26th March 2012

Researchers have found a gene which could show why certain people respond to the flu virus by becoming seriously ill and why others suffer only mild symptoms.

UK and US researchers said the gene ITFITM3 seemed to be a "crucial first line of defence" against flu. Paul Kellam of the Sanger Institute said: "Our research is important for people who have this variant as we predict their immune defences could be weakened to some virus infections. Ultimately as we learn more about the genetics of susceptibility to viruses, then people can take informed precautions, such as vaccination to prevent infection."

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