The impact of rare and low-frequency genetic variants in common variable immunodeficiency (CVID)

Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 15;11(1):8308. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-87898-1.


Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) has uncovered hundreds of common and rare genetic variants involved in complex and rare diseases including immune deficiencies in both an autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant pattern. These rare variants however, cannot be classified clinically, and common variants only marginally contribute to disease susceptibility. In this study, we evaluated the multi-gene panel results of Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID) patients and argue that rare variants located in different genes play a more prominent role in disease susceptibility and/or etiology. We performed NGS on DNA extracted from the peripheral blood leukocytes from 103 patients using a panel of 19 CVID-related genes: CARD11, CD19, CD81, ICOS, CTLA4, CXCR4, GATA2, CR2, IRF2BP2, MOGS, MS4A1, NFKB1, NFKB2, PLCG2, TNFRSF13B, TNFRSF13C, TNFSF12, TRNT1 and TTC37. Detected variants were evaluated and classified based on their impact, pathogenicity classification and population frequency as well as the frequency within our study group. NGS revealed 112 different (a total of 227) variants with under 10% population frequency in 103 patients of which 22(19.6%) were classified as benign, 29(25.9%) were classified as likely benign, 4(3.6%) were classified as likely pathogenic and 2(1.8%) were classified as pathogenic. Moreover, 55(49.1%) of the variants were classified as variants of uncertain significance. We also observed different variant frequencies when compared to population frequency databases. Case-control data is not sufficient to unravel the genetic etiology of immune deficiencies. Thus, it is important to understand the incidence of co-occurrence of two or more rare variants to aid in illuminating their potential roles in the pathogenesis of immune deficiencies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / classification
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / genetics*
  • Gene Frequency / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genetic Variation / genetics*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans