CD14 polymorphisms, microbial exposure and allergic diseases: a systematic review of gene-environment interactions

Allergy. 2014 Nov;69(11):1440-53. doi: 10.1111/all.12454. Epub 2014 Jul 12.


Asthma and allergy may develop as a result of interactions between environmental factors and the genetic characteristics of an individual. This review aims to summarize the available evidence for, and potential effects of, an interaction between polymorphisms of the CD14 gene and exposure to microbes on the risk of asthma and allergic diseases. We searched PubMed, MEDLINE and Global Health databases, finding 12 articles which met inclusion criteria. Most studies reported a significant interaction between CD14 polymorphisms and microbial exposure. When stratified by age at microbial exposure (early life vs adult life), there was evidence of a protective effect of gene-environment interaction against atopy in children, but not adults. We also found different effects of interaction depending on the type of microbial exposures. There was no strong evidence for asthma and eczema. Future studies should consider a three-way interaction between CD14 gene polymorphisms, microbial exposures and the age of exposure.

Keywords: CD14; asthma; atopy; endotoxin; gene-environment interaction.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Endotoxins / immunology
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / genetics*
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Hypersensitivity / microbiology*
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*


  • Allergens
  • Endotoxins
  • Lipopolysaccharide Receptors