Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, pronounced ‘snips’) are small genetic changes in DNA that vary between people. In fact, human beings are 99% identical as regards their gene sequences, and the 1% which remains is mostly accounted for SNPs. While most SNPs are silent, some can have important consequences for individual susceptibility to disease and reactions to treatment.

Dr Jonathan Kerr was leader of an active team at St George’s Hospital, University of London investigating gene expression in ME/CFS. With funding from ME Research UK, he undertook an investigation of key SNPs within genes associated with the illness. The headline result, now published in Journal of Clinical Pathology, was that 21 SNP alleles had significantly different ‘frequency distributions’ in ME/CFS patients than in healthy control subjects or people with depression.

Read our background and summary of the study