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Public Health Genomics : Introduction , Genetic susceptibility to disease

Public Health Genomics


Public health genomics is that the use of genomics information to profit public health. This is visualized as simpler preventive care and disease treatments with better specificity, tailored to the genetic makeup of every patient. Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health genomics is an emerging field of study that assesses the impact of genes and their interaction with behavior, diet and therefore the environment on the population's health.

This field of public health genomics is a smaller amount 
than a decade old. A number of think tanks, universities, and governments have started public health genomics projects. Research on the human genome is generating new knowledge that's changing public health programs and policies. Advances in genomic sciences are increasingly being used to improve health, prevent disease, educate and train the public health workforce, other healthcare providers, and citizens.

Ethical concerns

One of the many facets involved in public health genomics is that of bioethics. This has been highlighted in a study in 2005 by Cogent Research, that found when American citizens were asked what they thought the strongest drawback was in using genetic information, they listed "misuse of information/invasion of privacy" as the single most important problem.[4] In 2003, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics published a report.


Pharmacogenetics: Ethical Issues. Authors of the document explore four broad categories of ethical and policy issues associated with pharmacogenetics: information, resource, equity and control. In the introduction to the report, the authors clearly state that the event and application of pharmacogenetics depend upon research project, but that policy and administration must provide incentives and restraints to ensure the most productive and just use of this technology. Involving the public in ethical oversight and other ways can improve public trust in public health genomics as well as acceptability of initiatives and ensuring that access to the benefits of genomics research is equitable.

Genetic susceptibility to disease

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are single bases within a gene sequence that differ from that gene's consensus sequence, and are present during a 
subset of the population. SNPs may have any effect on organic phenomenon, or they will change the function of a gene completely. Resulting organic phenomenon changes can, in some cases, end in disease, or in susceptibility to disease (e.g., viral or bacterial infection).

Some current tests for genetic diseases include: cystic fibrosis, Tay–Sachs disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's disease, high cholesterol, some rare cancers and an inherited susceptibility to cancer. A select few are explored below.

Herpesvirus and bacterial infections

Since the sector 
of genomics takes under consideration the whole genome of an organism, and not simply its individual genes, the stud of latent virus infection falls into this realm. For example, the DNA of a latent herpesvirus integrates into the host's chromosome and propagates through cell replication, although it's not a part of the organism's genome, and was not present at the birth of the individual.

Influenza and Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Variations within the human genome are often 
studied to work out susceptibility to infectious diseases. The study of variations within microbial genomes also will got to be evaluated to use genomics of communicable disease within public health. The ability to determine if a person has greater susceptibility to an infectious disease will be valuable to determine how to treat the disease if it is present or prevent the person from getting the disease. Several infectious diseases have shown a link between genetics and susceptibility in that families tend to have heritability traits of a disease.

Type 1 Diabetes, immunomics, and public health

The term genomics, pertaining to 
the organism's whole genome, is additionally wont to ask gene informatics, or the gathering and storage of genetic data, including the functional information associated with the genes, and the analysis of the data as combinations, patterns and networks by computer algorithms. Systems biology and genomics are natural partners, since the event of genomic information and systems naturally facilitates analysis of systems biology questions involving relationships between genes, their variants (SNPs) and biological function. Such questions include the investigation of signaling pathways, evolutionary trees, or biological networks, such as immune networks and pathways. For this reason, genomics and these approaches are particularly suited to studies in immunology. The study of immunology using genomics, also as proteomics and transcriptomics (including gene profiles, either genomic or expressed gene mRNA profiles), has been termed immunomics.

Nonsyndromic hearing loss

Variations within the human genome are being studied to determine susceptibility to chronic diseases, as well as infectious diseases.


Ø  Genomics and health

Ø  Pharmacogenomics

Ø  Nutrition and health

Ø  Healthcare and genomics

Ø  The genomic face of immune responses

Ø  Newborn screening

Ø  Understanding traditional healing practices



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