Original articles

Therapeutic genome engineering: Implications for South Africa

J Naidoo, E Fok, J Scholefield

Abstract


South Africa encompasses extraordinary genetic diversity, frequently revealing unique mutations and variations associated with disease. Despite the advances of traditional gene therapy, our understanding of causative mutations in the South African population has, for the most part, contributed to diagnostic rather than therapeutic interventions. Recent developments in genome engineering and its ease of use have released a powerful tool with which to intervene in otherwise untreatable disease. In addition, harnessing this tool for discrete genetic edits provides a mechanism by which screening of new drugs specific to our population’s diversity can be accomplished. Here, we use examples of some of the most advanced genome engineering approaches to develop therapeutic strategies that would specifically affect South African individuals.


Authors' affiliations

J Naidoo, Bioengineering and Integrative Genomics Group, Next Generation Health Cluster, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa

E Fok, Bioengineering and Integrative Genomics Group, Next Generation Health Cluster, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa;Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

J Scholefield, Bioengineering and Integrative Genomics Group, Next Generation Health Cluster, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa; Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2019;109(8b):53-57. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i8b.13850

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-09-10
Date published: 2019-09-10

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