My name is Mercy Kimani. I am a Masters student taking MSc in Biometry at the University of Nairobi. I did my masters project at Kemri-Wellcome Trust Research Programme where, I used genetic data to study the association between vitamin D status and Tuberculosis disease. I completed a Bachelor of science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at South Eastern Kenya University. I have a great interest in statistical genetics and especially genomic epidemiology which is the field I am hoping to build a career in.
Project Title: A causal association of genetically predicted serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations on the odds of tuberculosis disease: A Two-sample Mendelian Randomization Study
Tuberculosis is a major cause of ill health and death. In 2018, an estimated 10 million people became ill and 1.2 million died from the disease. Vitamin D deficiency is also a major public health problem, affecting about a billion people globally. Studies have reported an association between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of tuberculosis. Some of the mechanisms underlying this association may include the role of vitamin D in both innate and adaptive immune functions. This study aimed to investigate whether there is a causal association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and odds of tuberculosis disease in Asian and European populations using two-sample Mendelian randomization. I used Mendelian randomization (MR), a technique that employs single nucleotide polymorphisms (genetic variants) as instrumental variables to estimate the causal effect of serum-25(OH)D (intervention) on the outcome of tuberculosis disease. I used genome-wide association studies (GWAS) summary statistics from the UK Biobank as the exposure data and from the International Tuberculosis Human Genetics Consortium (ITHGC) as the outcome data. Results from this study showed no evidence of a causal association of genetically predicted serum-25(OH)D concentrations on the odds of tuberculosis disease.