Department of Economics and Business Economics

The Duffy-null genotype and risk of infection

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DOI

  • Sophie E Legge, Cardiff Univ, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business Sch
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  • Rune H Christensen, University of Copenhagen, 2605
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  • Liselotte Petersen
  • Antonio F Pardiñas, Cardiff Univ, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business Sch
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  • Matthew Bracher-Smith, Cardiff Univ, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business Sch
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  • Steven Knapper, Cardiff Univ, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business Sch
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  • Jonas Bybjerg-Grauholm, Hospital Lillebaelt, Middelfart, Denmark, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark, and Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
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  • Marie Baekvad-Hansen, Hospital Lillebaelt, Middelfart, Denmark, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark, and Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
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  • David M Hougaard, Hospital Lillebaelt, Middelfart, Denmark, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark, and Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
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  • Thomas Werge, Institute of Biological Psychiatry
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  • Merete Nordentoft, University of Copenhagen
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  • Preben Bo Mortensen
  • Michael J Owen, Cardiff Univ, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business Sch
  • ,
  • Michael C O'Donovan, Cardiff Univ, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business Sch
  • ,
  • Michael E Benros, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • James T R Walters, Cardiff Univ, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business Sch

Many medical treatments, from oncology to psychiatry, can lower white blood cell counts and thus access to these treatments can be restricted to individuals with normal levels of white blood cells, principally in order to minimise risk of serious infection. This adversely affects individuals of African or Middle Eastern ancestries who have on average a reduced number of circulating white blood cells, due to the Duffy-null (CC) genotype at rs2814778 in the ACKR1 gene. Here, we investigate whether the Duffy-null genotype is associated with the risk of infection using the UK Biobank sample and the iPSYCH Danish case-cohort study, two population-based samples from different countries and age ranges. We found that a high proportion of those with the Duffy-null genotype (21%) had a neutrophil count below the threshold often used as a cut-off for access to relevant treatments, compared to 1% of those with the TC/TT genotype. In addition we found that despite its strong association with lower average neutrophil counts, the Duffy-null genotype was not associated with an increased risk of infection, viral or bacterial. These results have widespread implications for the clinical treatment of individuals of African ancestry and indicate that that neutrophil thresholds to access treatments could be lowered in individuals with the Duffy-null genotype without an increased risk of infection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
ISSN0964-6906
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Sep 2020

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