Association of Vitamin D Receptor Polymorphism with Susceptibility to Symptomatic Pertussis.
PLoS One. 2016 ;11(2):e0149576. Epub 2016 Feb 19. PMID: 26894582
Wanda G H Han
Pertussis, caused by infection with the gram negative B. pertussis bacterium, is a serious respiratory illness that can last for months. While B. pertussis infection rates are estimated between 1-10% in the general population, notifications of symptomatic pertussis only comprise 0.01-0.1% indicating that most individuals clear B. pertussis infections without developing (severe) clinical symptoms. In this study we investigated whether genetic risk factors are involved in the development of symptomatic pertussis upon B. pertussis infection. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in candidate genes, MBL2, IL17A, TNFα, VDR, and IL10 were genotyped in a unique Dutch cohort of symptomatic clinically confirmed (ex-)pertussis patients and in a Dutch population cohort. Of the seven investigated SNPs in five genes, a polymorphism in the Vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene (rs10735810) was associated with pertussis. The VDR major allele and its homozygous genotype were more present in the symptomatic pertussis patient cohort compared to the control population cohort. Interestingly, the VDR major allele correlated also with the duration of reported pertussis symptoms. Vitamin D3 (VD3) and VDR are important regulatorsof immune activation. Altogether, these findings suggest that polymorphisms in the VDR gene may affect immune activation and the clinical outcome of B. pertussis infection.