Researchers ID Gene That May Up Acute Otitis Media Risk

HealthDay News — A potential genetic link to a child’s higher risk of acute otitis media has been identified, according to research published online September 28 in Nature Communications.

The analysis of DNA samples from 13,000 children revealed a link between acute otitis media and a site on chromosome 6 that contains the gene FNDC1. Follow-up studies showed that the corresponding gene in mice was expressed in the middle ear.

“Although the gene’s function in humans has not been well studied, we do know that FNDC1 codes for a protein with a role in inflammation,” said study leader Hakon Hakonarson, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“Although microbes cause this condition, it’s been well-known that genetics also plays a role,” he said in a hospital news release. “This is the first and largest genetic study focused on risk susceptibility for acute otitis media.”

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