Background: We studied the association between iron intake and polymorphisms in the iron transporter gene SLC40A1 and the risk of tuberculosis.
Methods: We compared iron intake, the frequency of SLC40A1 mutations, and interactions among these variables among 98 tuberculosis patients and 125 controls in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.
Results: Four SLC40A1 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were associated with an increased risk of tuberculosis and 1 SNP with reduced risk. We also found a gene-environment interaction for 4 nonexonic SNPs and iron intake.
Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrated an association between polymorphisms in SLC40A1 and tuberculosis and provided evidence of an interaction between dietary iron and SLC40A1.