The nucleotide oligomerization binding domain 2 gene (NOD2) encodes an intracellular receptor for bacterial components, which is expressed in monocytes and is associated with Crohn's Disease (CD). This finding, along with epidemiological evidence, supports a role for infection in the pathogenesis of CD. Speculation that mycobacteria, are involved in CD led us to investigate NOD2 in susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB), a global public health problem caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. CD-associated NOD2 variants were absent in a case-control study of 640 Gambians, where CD is rare. Novel NOD2 promoter polymorphisms were identified but showed no association with TB in this African population sample. (C) 2004 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.