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Several longitudinal studies have cast doubt on the aetiological overlap between child and adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, a lack of genetically sensitive data following children across adulthood precludes direct evaluation of aetiological overlap between child and adult ADHD.
We circumvent the existing gap in longitudinal data by exploring genetic overlap between maternal (adult) and offspring (child) ADHD and comorbid symptoms in an extended family cohort.
Data were drawn from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study, a Norwegian birth registry cohort of 114 500 children and their parents. Medical Birth Registry of Norway data were used to link extended families. Mothers self-reported their own ADHD symptoms when children were aged 3 years; reported children's ADHD symptoms at age 5 years; and children's ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder, anxiety and depression symptoms at age 8 years. Genetic correlations were derived from Multiple-Children-of-Twins-and-Siblings and extended bivariate twin models.
Phenotypic correlations between adult ADHD symptoms and child ADHD, ODD, conduct disorder, anxiety and depression symptoms at age 8 years were underpinned by medium-to-large genetic correlations (child ADHD: rG = 0.55, 95% CI 0.43−0.93; ODD: rG = 0.80, 95% CI 0.46−1; conduct disorder: rG = 0.44, 95% CI 0.28−1; anxiety: rG = 0.72, 95% CI 0.48−1; depression: rG = 1, 95% CI 0.66−1). These cross-generational adult–child genetic correlations were of a comparable magnitude to equivalent child–child genetic correlations with ADHD symptoms at age 5 years.
Our findings provide genetically sensitive evidence that ADHD symptoms in adulthood share a common genetic architecture with symptoms of ADHD and four comorbid disorders at age 8 years. These findings suggest that in the majority of cases, ADHD symptoms in adulthood are not aetiologically distinct from in childhood.
While studies from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic have described initial negative effects on mental health and exacerbating mental health inequalities, longer-term studies are only now emerging.
In total, 34 465 individuals in the UK completed online questionnaires and were re-contacted over the first 12 months of the pandemic. We used growth mixture modelling to identify trajectories of depression, anxiety and anhedonia symptoms using the 12-month data. We identified sociodemographic predictors of trajectory class membership using multinomial regression models.
Most participants had consistently low symptoms of depression or anxiety over the year of assessments (60%, 69% respectively), and a minority had consistently high symptoms (10%, 15%). We also identified participants who appeared to show improvements in symptoms as the pandemic progressed, and others who showed the opposite pattern, marked symptom worsening, until the second national lockdown. Unexpectedly, most participants showed stable low positive affect, indicating anhedonia, throughout the 12-month period. From regression analyses, younger age, reporting a previous mental health diagnosis, non-binary, or self-defined gender, and an unemployed or a student status were significantly associated with membership of the stable high symptom groups for depression and anxiety.
While most participants showed little change in their depression and anxiety symptoms across the first year of the pandemic, we highlight the divergent responses of subgroups of participants, who fared both better and worse around national lockdowns. We confirm that previously identified predictors of negative outcomes in the first months of the pandemic also predict negative outcomes over a 12-month period.
Self-harm is a major health concern, not only as a signal of distress but also as a strong predictor of later suicide. Self-harm can be further refined into suicidal self-harm (SSH, i.e. suicide attempt) and non-suicidal self-harm (NSSH). Understanding the aetiologies of NSSH and SSH can help inform suicide prevention strategies. Using a twin design, we investigated the phenotypic and aetiological relationships between NSSH and SSH, and their aetiological overlap with mental health problems.
We analysed data from the Twins Early Development Study using structural equation modelling. At age 21 years, 9063 twins (62.4% female) answered questions related to self-harm. At age 16 years, 19 self- or parent-reported mental health measures were administered, including measures of internalising and externalising problems, psychotic-like experiences and substance abuse.
Prevalences for NSSH and SSH were 21.9% and 10.5%, respectively. Additive genetic factors explained half of the variance in NSSH (55%) and SSH (50%), with the rest explained by non-shared environmental factors. Phenotypically, NSSH and SSH were strongly correlated (r = 0.87) with their correlation explained by genetic (57%) and non-shared environmental (43%) factors. We found no evidence that NSSH and SSH differed in their phenotypic and aetiological relationships with mental health measures.
Our findings suggest no aetiological difference between NSSH and SSH. NSSH and SSH should be regarded as two different ends of a continuum, rather than as two distinct categories.
Previous research indicates that body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is associated with risk of suicidality. However, studies have relied on small and/or specialist samples and largely focussed on adults, despite these difficulties commonly emerging in youth. Furthermore, the aetiology of the relationship remains unknown.
Two independent twin samples were identified through the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden, at ages 18 (N = 6027) and 24 (N = 3454). Participants completed a self-report measure of BDD symptom severity. Young people and parents completed items assessing suicidal ideation/behaviours. Logistic regression models tested the association of suicidality outcomes with: (a) probable BDD, classified using an empirically derived cut-off; and (b) continuous scores of BDD symptoms. Bivariate genetic models examined the aetiology of the association between BDD symptoms and suicidality at both ages.
Suicidal ideation and behaviours were common among those with probable BDD at both ages. BDD symptoms, measured continuously, were linked with all aspects of suicidality, and associations generally remained significant after adjusting for depressive and anxiety symptoms. Genetic factors accounted for most of the covariance between BDD symptoms and suicidality (72.9 and 77.7% at ages 18 and 24, respectively), but with significant non-shared environmental influences (27.1 and 22.3% at ages 18 and 24, respectively).
BDD symptoms are associated with a substantial risk of suicidal ideation and behaviours in late adolescence and early adulthood. This relationship is largely explained by common genetic liability, but non-shared environmental effects are also significant and could provide opportunities for prevention among those at high-risk.
Anxiety symptoms co-occur with cardiovascular health problems, with increasing evidence suggesting the role of autonomic dysfunction. Yet, there is limited behavior genetic research on underlying mechanisms. In this twin study, we investigated the phenotypic, genetic and environmental associations between a latent anxiety factor and three cardiovascular autonomic function factors: interbeat interval (IBI, time between heart beats), heart rate variability (HRV, overall fluctuation of heart-beat intervals) and baroreflex sensitivity (BRS, efficiency in regulating blood pressure [BP]). Multivariate twin models were fit using data of female twins (N = 250) of the Twin Interdisciplinary Neuroticism Study (TWINS). A significant negative association was identified between latent anxiety and BRS factors (r = −.24, 95% CI [−.40, −.07]). Findings suggest that this relationship was mostly explained by correlated shared environmental influences, and there was no evidence for pleiotropic genetic or unique environmental effects. We also identified negative relationships between anxiety symptoms and HRV (r = −.17, 95% CI [−.34, .00]) and IBI factors (r = −.13, 95% CI [−.29, .04]), though these associations did not reach statistical significance. Findings implicate that higher anxiety scores are associated with decreased efficiency in short-term BP regulation, providing support for autonomic dysfunction with anxiety symptomatology. The baroreflex system may be a key mechanism underlying the anxiety–cardiovascular health relationship.
The rise of social media use in young people has sparked concern about the impact of cyber-victimisation on mental health. Although cyber-victimisation is associated with mental health problems, it is not known whether such associations reflect genetic and environmental confounding.
We used the co-twin control design to test the direct association between cyber-victimisation and multiple domains of mental health in young people. Participants were 7708 twins drawn from the Twins Early Development Study, a UK-based population cohort followed from birth to age 22.
Monozygotic twins exposed to greater levels of cyber-victimisation had more symptoms of internalising, externalising and psychotic disorders than their less victimised co-twins at age 22, even after accounting for face-to-face peer victimisation and prior mental health. However, effect sizes from the most stringent monozygotic co-twin control analyses were decreased by two thirds from associations at the individual level [pooled β across all mental health problems = 0.06 (95% CI 0.03–0.10) v. 0.17 (95% CI 0.15–0.19) in individual-level analyses].
Cyber-victimisation has a small direct association with multiple mental health problems in young people. However, a large part of the association between cyber-victimisation and mental health is due to pre-existing genetic and environmental vulnerabilities and co-occurring face-to-face victimisation. Therefore, preventative interventions should target cyber-victimisation in conjunction with pre-existing mental health vulnerabilities and other forms of victimisation.
Biobanks are a valuable resource for creating advancements in science through cutting-edge omics research. Twin research methods allow us to understand the degree to which genetics and environmental factors contribute to health outcomes.
The Sri Lankan Twin Registry biobank (SLTR-b) was established in 2015 as part of Colombo Twin and Singleton Follow-up Study. Venous blood and urine were collected from twins and comparative sample of singletons for clinical investigations and biobanking.
The SLTR-b currently houses 3369 DNA and serum samples. Biobank specimens are linked to longitudinal questionnaire data, clinical investigations, anthropometric measurements, and other data.
The SLTR-b aims to address gaps in health and genetics research. It will provide opportunities for academic collaborations, local and international, and capacity building of future research leaders in twin and omics research. This paper provides a cohort profile of the SLTR-b and its linked data, and an overview of the strategies used for biobanking.
Although maternal depressive symptoms are robustly associated with offspring early-life psychopathology symptoms, it is not clear which potential mechanisms are at play. We aimed to estimate the relative importance of genetic transmission and direct environmental exposure in these associations on three occasions in early childhood.
Biometric modeling of maternal sisters and their offspring from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. The analyzed sample comprised 22 316 mothers and 35 589 offspring. Mothers reported their own depressive symptoms using the Symptom checklist, and offspring's concurrent symptoms of psychopathology using the Child Behavior Checklist at 1.5, 3, and 5 years postpartum.
Associations between maternal symptoms of depression and offspring emotional problems were predominantly explained by passive genetic transmission at 1.5 and 3 years postpartum. At age 5, associations were more due to direct environmental exposure. For offspring behavioral problems, there was no net increase in the importance of direct environmental exposure across occasions.
Associations between maternal depressive symptoms and offspring psychopathology symptoms remained after accounting for shared genes, consistent with a small, causal effect. For offspring emotional problems, this effect appeared to increase in importance over time. Our findings imply that treatment of maternal depressive symptoms could also benefit the offspring, and that genetic confounding should be considered in future studies of such mother–offspring associations.
Preterm birth is associated with an increased risk for cognitive-neurophysiological impairments and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Whether the associations are due to the preterm birth insult per se, or due to other risk factors that characterise families with preterm-born children, is largely unknown.
We employed a within-sibling comparison design, using cognitive-performance and event-related potential (ERP) measures from 104 preterm-born adolescents and 104 of their term-born siblings. Analyses focused on ADHD symptoms and cognitive and ERP measures from a cued continuous performance test, an arrow flanker task and a reaction time task.
Within-sibling analyses showed that preterm birth was significantly associated with increased ADHD symptoms (β = 0.32, p = 0.01, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.58) and specific cognitive-ERP impairments, such as IQ (β = −0.20, p = 0.02, 95% CI −0.40 to −0.01), preparation-vigilance measures and measures of error processing (ranging from β = 0.71, −0.35). There was a negligible within-sibling association between preterm birth with executive control measures of inhibition (NoGo-P3, β = −0.07, p = 0.45, 95% CI −0.33 to 0.15) or verbal working memory (digit span backward, β = −0.05, p = 0.63, 95% CI −0.30 to 0.18).
Our results suggest that the relationship between preterm birth with ADHD symptoms and specific cognitive-neurophysiological impairments (IQ, preparation-vigilance and error processing) is independent of family-level risk and consistent with a causal inference. In contrast, our results suggest that previously observed associations between preterm birth with executive control processes of inhibition and working memory are instead linked to background characteristics of families with a preterm-born child rather than preterm birth insult per se. These findings suggest that interventions need to target both preterm-birth specific and family-level risk factors.
This study investigated the genetic and environmental contributions to emotional overeating (EOE) and depressive symptoms, and their covariation, in a Sri-Lankan population, using genetic model-fitting analysis. In total, 3957 twins and singletons in the Colombo Twin and Singleton Study-Phase 2 rated their EOE behaviour and depressive symptoms, which were significantly associated (men: r = 0.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06–0.16, women: r = 0.12, 95% CI 0.07–0.16). Non-shared environmental factors explained the majority of variance in men (EOE e2 = 87%, 95% CI 78–95%; depressive symptoms e2 = 72%, 95% CI 61–83%) and women (EOE e2 = 76%, 95% CI 68–83%; depressive symptoms e2 = 64%, 95% CI 55–74%). Genetic factors were more important for EOE in women (h2 = 21%, 95% CI 4–32%) than men (h2 = 9%, 95% CI 0–20%). Shared-environmental factors were more important for depressive symptoms in men (c2 = 25%, 95% CI 10–36%) than women (c2 = 9%, 95% CI 0–35%). Non-shared environmental factors explained the overlap between depressive symptoms and EOE in women but not in men. Results differed from high-income populations, highlighting the need for behavioural genetic research in global populations.
The genetic component of Cannabis Use Disorder may overlap with influences acting more generally on early stages of cannabis use. This paper aims to determine the extent to which genetic influences on the development of cannabis abuse/dependence are correlated with those acting on the opportunity to use cannabis and frequency of use.
A cross-sectional study of 3303 Australian twins, measuring age of onset of cannabis use opportunity, lifetime frequency of cannabis use, and lifetime DSM-IV cannabis abuse/dependence. A trivariate Cholesky decomposition estimated additive genetic (A), shared environment (C) and unique environment (E) contributions to the opportunity to use cannabis, the frequency of cannabis use, cannabis abuse/dependence, and the extent of overlap between genetic and environmental factors associated with each phenotype.
Variance components estimates were A = 0.64 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.58–0.70] and E = 0.36 (95% CI 0.29–0.42) for age of opportunity to use cannabis, A = 0.74 (95% CI 0.66–0.80) and E = 0.26 (95% CI 0.20–0.34) for cannabis use frequency, and A = 0.78 (95% CI 0.65–0.88) and E = 0.22 (95% CI 0.12–0.35) for cannabis abuse/dependence. Opportunity shares 45% of genetic influences with the frequency of use, and only 17% of additive genetic influences are unique to abuse/dependence from those acting on opportunity and frequency.
There are significant genetic contributions to lifetime cannabis abuse/dependence, but a large proportion of this overlaps with influences acting on opportunity and frequency of use. Individuals without drug use opportunity are uninformative, and studies of drug use disorders must incorporate individual exposure to accurately identify aetiology.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) persists in around two-thirds of individuals in adolescence and early adulthood.
To examine the cognitive and neurophysiological processes underlying the persistence or remission of ADHD.
Follow-up data were obtained from 110 young people with childhood ADHD and 169 controls on cognitive, electroencephalogram frequency, event-related potential (ERP) and actigraph movement measures after 6 years.
ADHD persisters differed from remitters on preparation-vigilance measures (contingent negative variation, delta activity, reaction time variability and omission errors), IQ and actigraph count, but not on executive control measures of inhibition or working memory (nogo-P3 amplitudes, commission errors and digit span backwards).
Preparation-vigilance measures were markers of remission, improving concurrently with ADHD symptoms, whereas executive control measures were not sensitive to ADHD persistence/remission. For IQ, the present and previous results combined suggest a role in moderating ADHD outcome. These findings fit with previously identified aetiological separation of the cognitive impairments in ADHD. The strongest candidates for the development of non-pharmacological interventions involving cognitive training and neurofeedback are the preparation-vigilance processes that were markers of ADHD remission.
Twin studies have lacked statistical power to apply advanced genetic modelling techniques to the search for cognitive endophenotypes for bipolar disorder.
To quantify the shared genetic variability between bipolar disorder and cognitive measures.
Structural equation modelling was performed on cognitive data collected from 331 twins/siblings of varying genetic relatedness, disease status and concordance for bipolar disorder.
Using a parsimonious AE model, verbal episodic and spatial working memory showed statistically significant genetic correlations with bipolar disorder (rg = |0.23|–|0.27|), which lost statistical significance after covarying for affective symptoms. Using an ACE model, IQ and visual-spatial learning showed statistically significant genetic correlations with bipolar disorder (rg = |0.51|–|1.00|), which remained significant after covarying for affective symptoms.
Verbal episodic and spatial working memory capture a modest fraction of the bipolar diathesis. IQ and visual-spatial learning may tap into genetic substrates of non-affective symptomatology in bipolar disorder.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
Most studies of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in low- and
middle-income countries (LMICs) have focused on ‘high-risk’ populations
defined by exposure to trauma.
To estimate the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a
LMIC, the conditional probability of PTSD given a traumatic event and the
strength of associations between traumatic events and other psychiatric
Our sample contained a mix of 3995 twins and 2019 non-twins. We asked
participants about nine different traumatic exposures, including the
category ‘other’, but excluding sexual trauma.
Traumatic events were reported by 36.3% of participants and lifetime PTSD
was present in 2.0%. Prevalence of non-PTSD lifetime diagnosis was 19.1%.
Of people who had experienced three or more traumatic events, 13.3% had
lifetime PTSD and 40.4% had a non-PTSD psychiatric diagnosis.
Despite high rates of exposure to trauma, this population had lower rates
of PTSD than high-income populations, although the prevalence might have
been slightly affected by the exclusion of sexual trauma. There are high
rates of non-PTSD diagnoses associated with trauma exposure that could be
considered in interventions for trauma-exposed populations. Our findings
suggest that there is no unique relationship between traumatic
experiences and the specific symptomatology of PTSD.
Introduction: Neuroticism is an important marker of vulnerability for both mental and physical disorders. Its link with multiple etiological pathways has been studied before. Inflammatory markers have been demonstrated to predict similar mental and physical disorders as neuroticism. However, currently no study has focused on the shared genetic background of neuroticism and inflammatory markers. In the present study we will focus on the phenotypic and genetic relationship between neuroticism and three commonly used inflammatory markers: C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen and Immunoglobulin-G (IgG). Material and Methods: The study was conducted in 125 Dutch female twin pairs. For each participant, four different neuroticism scores were available to calculate a neuroticism composite score that was used in the statistical analyses. Blood samples for inflammatory marker determination were taken after an overnight fast. Heritabilities, phenotypic and genetic correlations were estimated using bivariate structural equation modeling. Results: Heritabilities are fair for neuroticism (0.55), CRP (0.52) and fibrinogen (0.67) and moderate for IgG (0.43). No significant phenotypic or genetic correlations were found between neuroticism and the inflammatory markers. Interaction models yielded no moderation of the genetic and environmental pathways in the regulation of inflammatory markers by neuroticism. Conclusion: Substantial heritabilities were observed for all variables. No evidence was found for significant shared (or moderation of) genetic or environmental pathways underlying neuroticism and inflammatory status.
Life history theory studies the evolution of traits related to reproductive fitness. Fertility and parental investment are key life history traits which, from an evolutionary standpoint, appear strongly interrelated. The aim of this work was to analyze the genetic and environmental structure and relationship of two behaviors associated with reproductive fitness: total number of offspring and mean duration of breastfeeding. A total of 1,347 women distributed in 239 monozygotic pairs, 236 dizygotic pairs, and 393 individual twins from opposite sex pairs provided information about their reproductive history. We conducted separate univariate analyses to study the sources of variance of both variables; and a bivariate analysis, with threshold liability models. The sources of variance for number of children and breastfeeding were best explained by a model including familial and unique environmental factors, being E = 0.54 (CI 95%: 0.44, 0.66) and E = 0.46 (CI 95%: 0.34, 0.61), respectively. The phenotypic correlation between number of children and breastfeeding was low but significant (r = 0.16, CI 95%: 0.07, 0.25). Familial correlation between these variables did not reach significance, but unique environmental correlation did (re = 0.20, CI 95%: 0.02, 0.37). In conclusion, results do not support the existence of a clear common structure for the number of children a woman has and the time she spends breastfeeding them, at least in modern societies. The relationship found was mainly due to unique environmental factors. More research on these and related phenotypes is needed to better understand women's reproductive decisions and how natural selection acts on the life history traits.
Little is known about how genetic and environmental factors contribute to the association between parental negativity and behavior problems from early childhood to adolescence. The current study fitted a cross-lagged model in a sample consisting of 4,075 twin pairs to explore (a) the role of genetic and environmental factors in the relationship between parental negativity and behavior problems from age 4 to age 12, (b) whether parent-driven and child-driven processes independently explain the association, and (c) whether there are sex differences in this relationship. Both phenotypes showed substantial genetic influence at both ages. The concurrent overlap between them was mainly accounted for by genetic factors. Causal pathways representing stability of the phenotypes and parent-driven and child-driven effects significantly and independently account for the association. Significant but slight differences were found between males and females for parent-driven effects. These results were highly similar when general cognitive ability was added as a covariate. In summary, the longitudinal association between parental negativity and behavior problems seems to be bidirectional and mainly accounted for by genetic factors. Furthermore, child-driven effects were mainly genetically mediated, and parent-driven effects were a function of both genetic and shared-environmental factors.
The Sri Lankan Twin Registry (SLTR), established in 1997, is a unique resource for twin and genetic research in a low- and middle-income country (LMIC). It comprises of a volunteer cohort of 14,120 twins (7,060 pairs) and 119 sets of triplets, and a population-based cohort of 19,040 (9,520 pairs) twins and 89 sets of triplets. Several studies have been conducted using this registry, including the Colombo Twin and Singleton Study (CoTaSS 1; 4,387 twins, 2,311 singletons), which have explored the prevalence and heritability of a range of psychiatric disorders as well as gene-environmental interplay. Currently, a follow-up study (CoTaSS 2) of the same cohort is underway, looking at the prevalence and interrelationship of key cardiovascular and metabolic risk markers (e.g., metabolic syndrome). A significant feature of CoTaSS 2 is the establishment of a biobank. Current SLTR work is extending beyond mental health and the interface between mental and physical health to new horizons, extending collaborations with the wider global twin research community. Ethics and governance have been given special emphasis in the initiative. Capacity building and public engagement are two crucial components. Establishment of a state-of-the-art genetic laboratory was a major accomplishment. SLTR is a classic showcase of successful North–South partnership in building a progressive research infrastructure in a LMIC.