Genome scan of M. tuberculosis infection and disease in Ugandans

Catherine M. Stein, Sarah Zalwango, La Shaunda L. Malone, Sungho Won, Harriet Mayanja-Kizza, Roy D. Mugerwa, Dmitry V. Leontiev, Cheryl L. Thompson, Kevin C. Cartier, Robert C. Elston, Sudha K. Iyengar, W. Henry Boom, Christopher C. Whalen

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104 Scopus citations


Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), is an enduring public health problem globally, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Several studies have suggested a role for host genetic susceptibility in increased risk for TB but results across studies have been equivocal. As part of a household contact study of Mtb infection and disease in Kampala, Uganda, we have taken a unique approach to the study of genetic susceptibility to TB, by studying three phenotypes. First, we analyzed culture confirmed TB disease compared to latent Mtb infection (LTBI) or lack of Mtb infection. Second, we analyzed resistance to Mtb infection in the face of continuous exposure, defined by a persistently negative tuberculin skin test (PTST-); this outcome was contrasted to LTBI. Third, we analyzed an intermediate phenotype, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) expression in response to soluble Mtb ligands enriched with molecules secreted from Mtb (culture filtrate). We conducted a full microsatellite genome scan, using genotypes generated by the Center for Medical Genetics at Marshfield. Multipoint model-free linkage analysis was conducted using an extension of the Haseman-Elston regression model that includes half sibling pairs, and HIV status was included as a covariate in the model. The analysis included 803 individuals from 193 pedigrees, comprising 258 full sibling pairs and 175 half sibling pairs. Suggestive linkage (p<10-3) was observed on chromosomes 2q21-2q24 and 5p13-5q22 for PTST-, and on chromosome 7p22-7p21 for TB; these findings for PTST- are novel and the chromosome 7 region contains the IL6 gene. In addition, we replicated recent linkage findings on chromosome 20q13 for TB (p = 0.002). We also observed linkage at the nominal α = 0.05 threshold to a number of promising candidate genes, SLC11A1 (PTST- p = 0.02), IL-1 complex (TB p = 0.01), IL12BR2 (TNFα p = 0.006), IL12A (TB p = 0.02) and IFNGR2 (TNFα p = 0.002). These results confirm not only that genetic factors influence the interaction between humans and Mtb but more importantly that they differ according to the outcome of that interaction: exposure but no infection, infection without progression to disease, or progression of infection to disease. Many of the genetic factors for each of these stages are part of the innate immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere4094
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 31 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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