Whole Exome Sequencing reveals new candidate genes in host genomic susceptibility to Respiratory Syncytial Virus Disease

Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 21;7(1):15888. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-15752-4.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important cause of serious lower respiratory tract disease in infants. Several studies have shown evidence pointing to the genome of the host as an important factor determining susceptibility to respiratory disease caused by RSV. We sequenced the complete exomes of 54 patients infected by RSV that needed hospitalization due to development of severe bronchiolitis. The Iberian sample (IBS) from The 1000 Genomes Project (1000G) was used as control group; all the association results were pseudo-replicated using other 1000G-European controls and Spanish controls. The study points to SNP rs199665292 in the olfactory receptor (OR) gene OR13C5 as the best candidate variant (P-value = 1.16 × 10-12; OR = 5.56). Genetic variants at HLA genes (HLA-DQA1, HLA-DPB1), and in the mucin 4 gene (MUC4) also emerge as susceptibility candidates. By collapsing rare variants in genes and weighing by pathogenicity, we obtained confirmatory signals of association in the OR gene OR8U1/OR8U8, the taste receptor TAS2R19, and another mucin gene (MUC6). Overall, we identified new predisposition variants and genes related to RSV infection. Of special interest is the association of RSV to olfactory and taste receptors; this finding is in line with recent evidence pointing to their role in viral infectious diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Gene Ontology
  • Genetic Association Studies*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genome, Human*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / genetics*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / virology*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / physiology*
  • Whole Exome Sequencing*