CLEC4E (Mincle) genetic variation associates with pulmonary tuberculosis in Guinea-Bissau (West Africa)

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  • Jasmine M. Olvany, Case Western Reserve University
  • ,
  • Lindsay N. Sausville, Case Western Reserve University
  • ,
  • Marquitta J. White, University of California at San Francisco
  • ,
  • Alessandra Tacconelli, Fatebenefratelli Hospital
  • ,
  • Gloria Tavera, Case Western Reserve University
  • ,
  • Rafal S. Sobota, Northwestern University
  • ,
  • Cinzia Ciccacci, University of Rome La Sapienza, University of Rome Tor Vergata
  • ,
  • Anders S. Bohlbro
  • Christian Wejse
  • Scott M. Williams, Case Western Reserve University
  • ,
  • Giorgio Sirugo, University of Pennsylvania

Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent. According to the WHO, 85% of cases in 2018 were pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), making it the most prevalent form of the disease. Although the bacillus responsible for disease, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), is estimated to infect 1.7 billion people worldwide, only a small portion of those infected (5–10%) will transition into active TB. Because such a small fraction of infected people develop active disease, we hypothesized that underlying host genetic variation associates with developing active pulmonary disease. Variation in CLEC4E has been of interest in previous association studies showing either no effect or protection from PTB. For our study we assessed 60 SNPs in 11 immune genes, including CLEC4E, using a case-control study from Guinea-Bissau. The 289 cases and 322 controls differed in age, sex, and ethnicity all of which were included in adjusted models. Initial association analysis with unadjusted logistic regression revealed putative association with seven SNPs (p < 0.05). All SNPs were then assessed in an adjusted model. Of the six SNPs that remained significant, three of them were assigned to the CLEC4E gene (rs12302046, rs10841847, and rs11046143). Of these, only rs10841847 passed FDR adjustment for multiple testing. Adjusted regression analyses showed that the minor allele at rs10841847 associated with higher risk of developing PTB (OR = 1.55, CI = 1.22–1.96, p-value = 0.00036). Based on these initial association tests, CLEC4E seemed to be the predictor of interest for PTB risk in this population. Haplotype analysis (2-SNP and 3-SNP windows) showed that minor alleles in segments including rs10841847 were the only ones to pass the threshold of global significance, compared to other haplotypes (p-value < 0.05). Linkage disequilibrium patterns showed that rs12302046 is in high LD with rs10841847 (r2 = 0.67), and all other SNPs lost significance when adjusted for rs10841847 effects. These findings indicate that rs10841847 in CLEC4E is the single best predictor of pulmonary tuberculosis risk in our study population. These results provide evidence for the hypothesis that genetic variation of CLEC4E influences risk to TB in Guinea-Bissau.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104560
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Volume85
ISSN1567-1348
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

    Research areas

  • CLEC4E, Host genetics, Innate immunity, Mincle, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Tuberculosis

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