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J Infect Dis. 2018 Jan 17;217(3):353-357. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jix587.

DC-SIGN Polymorphisms Associate with Risk of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Men who Have Sex with Men but not Among Injecting Drug Users.

Author information

Department of Medical Microbiology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Infectious Diseases, Public Health Service of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Internal Medicine, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Microbiology, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Tropical Medicine, and AIDS, Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Clinical Infection, Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, UK.


We aimed to identify whether genetic polymorphisms within L-SIGN or DC-SIGN correlate with hepatitis C virus (HCV) susceptibility. A men who have sex with men (MSM) and an injecting drug users (IDU) cohort of HCV cases and multiple-exposed uninfected controls were genotyped for numerous L-SIGN and DC-SIGN polymorphisms. DC-SIGN single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) -139, -871, and -939 correlated with HCV acquisition in the MSM cohort only. When the same SNPs were introduced into a transcription activity assay they demonstrated a reduction in expression with predicted alteration in binding of transcription factors. DC-SIGN promoter SNPs correlated with risk of HCV acquisition via sexual but not IDU exposure, likely through modulation of mRNA expression levels.


DC-SIGN; Hepatitis C virus; lectin; sexual transmission; single nucleotide polymorphism

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