New Aussie tool predicts liver disease

Australian researchers have designed a diagnostic tool that can determine whether a person is at high risk of developing liver fibrosis.

The tool can also predict whether the disease will progress rapidly or slowly, based on the patient’s genetic make-up.

According to its makers, this discovery paves the way for effective therapeutic treatments for liver disease.

The international team, led by Professor Jacob George and Dr Mohammed Eslam at Sydney’s Westmead Institute for Medical Research, say they have identified a protein, known as interferon lambda 3 (INLF3), that causes liver fibrosis.

The same researchers have previously identified that the common genetic variations associated with liver fibrosis are located on chromosome 19, between the IFNL3 and IFNL4 genes.