Immunogenetics of Autoimmunity

The majority of autoimmune illnesses have a significant heritable component to their development. This genetic influence on illness can take many different forms, from the straightforward Mendelian inheritance of causal alleles to the intricate interplay of several weak loci affecting risk. Linkage studies and genome-wide association studies are two of the methods being used to identify the genetic variations that cause illness.

Despite the fast advancements in genetic research, significant portions of the heritable risk remain unaccounted for. This is either because of the contribution of a "hidden" risk component that has not yet been found or because of the underestimated impact of known risk loci. Contrary to expectations, there is surprising conservation in the biological processes controlled by risk alleles, with multiple important immunological pathways being altered in autoimmune illnesses encompassing a wide range of clinical symptoms.

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