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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 13;8(12):e83843. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083843. eCollection 2013.

Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms on the risk of tuberculosis, a meta-analysis of 29 case-control studies.

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  • 1Department of Chronic Communicable Disease, Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing, China.


The relationship of four potentially functional polymorphisms of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene, ApaI, BsmI, FokI and TaqI , with tuberculosis susceptibility were considered. The aim of this meta-analysis was to explore the association between the four polymorphisms and tuberculosis risk in different ethnic backgrounds. Eligible case-control studies that were catalogued before April 1(st) 2013 were enrolled, and the heterogeneity between the studies was evaluated using a χ(2) based Q-test. Fixed and random effect models were built to evaluate the association of the four polymorphisms with the risk of tuberculosis, and the association between the four polymorphisms and tuberculosis was expressed as the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Finally, twenty nine qualified studies were enrolled for this meta-analysis that included 6179 tuberculosis cases and 6585 healthy controls. The variant homozygote genotype of the FokI polymorphism was associated with a significantly increased risk of tuberculosis when compared to the heterozygote and wild type homozygote genotypes in the Chinese population (ff vs. Ff+FF: OR(recessive) =1.97, 95%CI: 1.32-2.93, P(bonferroni) =0.0032; heterogeneity test: χ(2)=0.24, P=0.62). For European subjects, the homozygote and heterozygote genotypes of the BsmI polymorphism were associated with a significantly decreased risk of tuberculosis when compared to the wild type homozygote (bb+Bb vs. BB: OR(dominant) =0.41, 95%CI, 0.22-0.76, P(bonferroni) =0.02; heterogeneity test: χ(2)=2.59, P=0.11). Based on the above results, we conclude that variants of the VDR gene that are homozygous for the FokI polymorphism might be more susceptible to tuberculosis in Chinese. Furthermore, larger sample studies are warranted to confirm the protective effects of BsmI variants on tuberculosis in the Europeans.

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