A genome-wide association meta-analysis of self-reported allergy identifies shared and allergy-specific susceptibility loci

Nat Genet. 2013 Aug;45(8):907-11. doi: 10.1038/ng.2686. Epub 2013 Jun 30.


Allergic disease is very common and carries substantial public-health burdens. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide associations with self-reported cat, dust-mite and pollen allergies in 53,862 individuals. We used generalized estimating equations to model shared and allergy-specific genetic effects. We identified 16 shared susceptibility loci with association P<5×10(-8), including 8 loci previously associated with asthma, as well as 4p14 near TLR1, TLR6 and TLR10 (rs2101521, P=5.3×10(-21)); 6p21.33 near HLA-C and MICA (rs9266772, P=3.2×10(-12)); 5p13.1 near PTGER4 (rs7720838, P=8.2×10(-11)); 2q33.1 in PLCL1 (rs10497813, P=6.1×10(-10)), 3q28 in LPP (rs9860547, P=1.2×10(-9)); 20q13.2 in NFATC2 (rs6021270, P=6.9×10(-9)), 4q27 in ADAD1 (rs17388568, P=3.9×10(-8)); and 14q21.1 near FOXA1 and TTC6 (rs1998359, P=4.8×10(-8)). We identified one locus with substantial evidence of differences in effects across allergies at 6p21.32 in the class II human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region (rs17533090, P=1.7×10(-12)), which was strongly associated with cat allergy. Our study sheds new light on the shared etiology of immune and autoimmune disease.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Loci*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / genetics*
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Pyroglyphidae / immunology
  • Self Report
  • Young Adult


  • Allergens