The Genetics of Benign Neutropenia

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Click on the icon on the upper right hand side for the article by Ziv Paz, MD, MSc, Michael Nalls PhD and Elad Ziv, MD.
IMAJ 2011: 13: October: 625-629

In Israel, Yemenite Jews and other populations including Ethiopian Jews and Bedouins have a low neutrophil count. This phenomenon has been called “benign neutropenia” since it has not been associated with any increased risk of infection and has also been described in other populations around the world including Africans, African Americans and Afro-Carribeans. Here we describe the recent success in mapping the gene that underlies benign neutropenia in African American populations. We discuss the known function of the gene and consider potential mechanisms for the effect on neutropenia. We also consider the possibility that this gene underlies the same effect observed in Yemenite Jews, Ethiopian Jews and Bedouins in Israel.