, Volume 196, Issue 1, pp 125–127 | Cite as

Diminished Susceptibility of African–Americans to Non-tuberculous Mycobacterial Disease

  • Jerome M. Reich
  • Jong S. Kim
Brief Report


The incidence of three granulomatous response diseases—sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, and non-tuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease—differ markedly in African–Americans versus Caucasians. In reviewing a large compendium of non-cystic-fibrosis bronchiectasis, we noted that complicating infection with non-tuberculous mycobacteria was relatively infrequent among individuals of African–American descent, confirming previous observations of their inherent resistance. Disease-specific variance among African–Americans in the efficacy of their granulomatous response suggests a nexus, a mediating, immunological mechanism. Environmentally conditioned selection of SLC11A1 (Nramp1) alleles may account for this ethnic variance.


African–American Bronchiectasis Non-tuberculous mycobacterial disease Sarcoidosis Nramp1 SLC11A1 





Natural resistance-associated macrophage protein 1


Non-tuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Drs. Reich and Kim declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thoracic Oncology ProgramEarle A Chiles Research InstitutePortlandUSA
  2. 2.Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics and StatisticsPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA

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