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Gene defect leads to warts and more

From San Diego, at a meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics

To attract immune cells to infection, the body uses signals called chemokines. Like noses on bloodhounds, chemokine receptors on immune cells sniff for chemical cues, in this case, chemokines in blood.

Researchers have for the first time associated a disease with mutations in a gene for one of these receptors. People with a rare disorder known as WHIM syndrome suffer warts and recurrent bacterial infections. The patients have normal immune cells, but the cells seem to have trouble moving out from their home in bone marrow toward an infection, says George A. Diaz of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

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