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A team led by Oxford University has identified genes that make certain children more susceptible to invasive bacterial infections by performing a large genome-wide association study in African children.

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Bacteraemia, bacterial infection of the bloodstream, is a major cause of illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa but little is known about whether human genetics play a part. The leading bacterial cause of death in young children worldwide is Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), and 14.5 million episodes of serious pneumococcal disease occur in young children annually.

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