Scientists discover rare disease 

Source: Scientists discover rare disease | The Herald September 29, 2018

Abigail Mawonde Herald Correspondent
ZIMBABWEAN scientists working in collaboration with their counterparts at the University of Edinburgh (UK) have discovered a rare disease  systematic lupus erythematosus  that affects mainly black people.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex chronic autoimmune disease that can affect multiple organs, including the skin, joints, hematopoietic system, kidneys, lungs and the central nervous system.

Previous studies report differences in the prevalence and severity of SLE in different ethnic groups.

SLE-associated mortality in Black American patients is 24 percent, compared with five percent among Asians with comparable demographic and clinical features.

SLE diagnosis in Africa remains challenging and true disease and mortality rates are unknown.

Treatment is often complicated by side effects, so accurate, and early diagnosis (which can be facilitated by characterising auto-antibody reactivity) are key to successful disease management.

In a statement to The Herald, the scientists said the discovery of lupus could help manage the disease in African patients.

Professor Francisca Mutapi of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences, a Zimbabwean who led the study, said: “For the first time we have highlighted the importance of two variants of systemic lupus that affect black Africans, including one which was previously not defined in detail.

“Thanks to our research, we also have the means to diagnose and distinguish them.”

Professor Elopy Sibanda of the Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe, who led the clinical aspects of the study, said: “These findings will be valuable in diagnosing SLE in affected  patients.

“It is currently difficult to diagnose lupus erythematosus, as many symptoms overlap with those of other locally prevalent conditions, including HIV.”


  • comment-avatar
    Jackson Ventura 2 years ago

    well, this is the cracking of the egg , the worse is on the way as the angel is unveiling the seal.African economy and social issues crumpling to ashes however never let no man give you false hope that things will flow like never before only until all the seven trumpets have sounded and the furnace has burned off the chaff.Then after all this things will flow beyond human imagination but as for now lets respond to the knockings at our doors endure sufferings while in the dungeons or lets dance in Babylon, prepare for the doom to overshadow the ozone layer.