Prognosis in autoimmune and infectious disease: new insights from genetics.


A well-recognised feature of autoimmune and infectious diseases is that their clinical course and eventual outcome can vary substantially between affected individuals. This variability in disease prognosis critically determines patient well-being, and yet is relatively poorly understood and largely understudied-with many investigators opting instead to study what causes disease development in the first place. Better understanding of what determines prognosis could provide unique insights into disease biology, potentially revealing new therapeutic targets, and will also be essential if prognosis-based 'personalised medicine' is ever to become a reality. Here, we highlight the previously under-appreciated role that genetics has in determining prognosis in autoimmune and infectious disease, and the common role that FOXO3 has been shown to have as a modulator of inflammatory responses, and thereby of outcome, across several distinct diseases.

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