Background and objective: The human ficolin-2, encoded by FCN2, recognizes pathogen-associated acetylated residues on their cell surfaces and activates the lectin complement cascade. This study aimed to investigate the contribution of human ficolin-2 and the functional FCN2 genetic variants in dengue virus (DENV) infection and in clinical progression.
Methods: FCN2 genetic polymorphisms in the promoter, intron 7 and exon 8 were genotyped in 279 patients with dengue fever and in 200 healthy controls by direct Sanger sequencing. The ficolin-2 levels were measured in serum samples by ELISA and correlated with clinical data.
Results: The frequencies of +6031GG, +6220GG and +6424TT genotypes were significantly higher in dengue patients compared to healthy controls indicating an increased risk of dengue fever. The SNPs rs11103563 (+6031A/G), rs7872508 (+6220 T/G), and rs7851696 (+6424G/T) significantly regulated ficolin-2 levels in dengue patients (P < 0.0001). Ficolin-2 levels were increased in patients with dengue and Dengue with Warning Signs (DWS) compared to healthy controls (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.038, respectively). Ficolin-2 levels were significantly increased after 10-14 days of admission in both dengue and DWS patients and then slightly decreased after three weeks of discharge, indicating that ficolin-2 levels were modulated during the progression of dengue fever. In addition, ficolin-2 levels were negatively correlated with AST levels and positively correlated with platelet counts.
Conclusions: FCN2 polymorphisms are associated with dengue fever in the Vietnamese population. Ficolin-2 levels are modulated during the progression of dengue fever and correlated with clinical parameters and thus may play a possible role in the pathogenesis of DENV infection.
Keywords: DENV infection; Dengue fever; FCN2; Ficolin-2; Severe dengue; polymorphism.
Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.