Natural resistance to Meningococcal Disease related to CFH loci: Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies

Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 2;6:35842. doi: 10.1038/srep35842.

Abstract

Meningococcal disease (MD) remains an important infectious cause of life threatening infection in both industrialized and resource poor countries. Genetic factors influence both occurrence and severity of presentation, but the genes responsible are largely unknown. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) examining 5,440,063 SNPs in 422 Spanish MD patients and 910 controls. We then performed a meta-analysis of the Spanish GWAS with GWAS data from the United Kingdom (combined cohorts: 897 cases and 5,613 controls; 4,898,259 SNPs). The meta-analysis identified strong evidence of association (P-value ≤ 5 × 10-8) in 20 variants located at the CFH gene. SNP rs193053835 showed the most significant protective effect (Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.62, 95% confidence interval (C.I.) = 0.52-0.73; P-value = 9.62 × 10-9). Five other variants had been previously reported to be associated with susceptibility to MD, including the missense SNP rs1065489 (OR = 0.64, 95% C.I.) = 0.55-0.76, P-value = 3.25 × 10-8). Theoretical predictions point to a functional effect of rs1065489, which may be directly responsible for protection against MD. Our study confirms the association of CFH with susceptibility to MD and strengthens the importance of this link in understanding pathogenesis of the disease.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Complement Factor H / genetics*
  • Databases, Factual
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Meningococcal Infections / genetics*
  • Meningococcal Infections / pathology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Spain

Substances

  • Complement Factor H