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Infect Genet Evol. 2011 Jul;11(5):912-6. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2011.02.014. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

TGFB1 and IL8 gene polymorphisms and susceptibility to visceral leishmaniasis.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, Heart Institute, InCor, HC-FMUSP, SP, Brazil.


Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) or Kala-azar is a serious protozoan infectious disease caused by an obligate intracellular parasite. Cytokines have a major role in determining progression and severity of clinical manifestations in VL. We investigated polymorphisms in the TGFB1and IL8 genes, which are cytokines known to have a role in onset and severity of the disease. Polymorphisms at TGFB1 -509 C/T and +869 T/C, and IL8 -251 A/T were analyzed by a PCR-RFLP technique, in 198 patients with VL, 98 individuals with asymptomatic infection positive for a delayed-type hypersensitivity test (DTH+) and in 101 individuals with no evidence of infection (DTH-). The presence of the T allele in position -509 of the TGFB1 gene conferred a two-fold risk to develop infection both when including those with clinical symptoms (DTH+ and VL, grouped) or when considering DTH+ only, respectively p = 0.007, OR = 1.9 [1.19-3.02] and p = 0.012, OR = 2.01 [1.17-3.79], when compared with DTH- individuals. In addition, occurrence of hemorrhage was associated with TGFB1 -509 T allele. We suggest that the -509 T allele of the TGFB1 gene, a cytokine with a biologically relevant role in the natural history of the disease, may contribute to overall susceptibility to infection by Leishmania and to severity of the clinical disease.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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