register interest

Dr Stephen J Chapman MRCP

Research Area: Genetics and Genomics
Technology Exchange: Bioinformatics, Mass spectrometry, SNP typing and Statistical genetics
Keywords: Genetic susceptibility, Immunodeficiency, Pneumococcus and Toll-like receptors

My major research interest is the study of human genetic susceptibility to severe bacterial respiratory disease, and this correlates with my clinical interests in acute respiratory infection, sepsis, and chronic suppurative lung disease (cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis). My initial research utilised a case-control study design with a candidate gene approach, focusing primarily on the role of inflammatory signalling pathway components in susceptibility to invasive pneumococcal disease and thoracic empyema. This research identified a number of gene variants in association with susceptibility to phenotypes of respiratory infection, including the following examples:

  • Identification of novel functional polymorphisms in the innate immune signalling protein Mal and the suppressor of cytokine signalling CISH, each of which associates with susceptibility to multiple major infectious diseases (Nature Genetics 2007, New England Journal of Medicine 2010)
  • Associations were identified between common polymorphisms in four genes that encode different inhibitors of the transcription factor NF-kB and susceptibility to invasive pneumococcal disease (Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2007, Genes and Immunity 2010, Critical Care 2010).
  • The first description of an association between the major autoimmune susceptibility locus PTPN22 and infectious disease (Nature Genetics 2006).

My ongoing research focuses on the use of genome-wide studies to identify major common susceptibility alleles for bacteraemia, and the application of large-scale sequencing technology to identify uncommon intermediate/high penetrance susceptibility variants.

Name Department Institution Country
Professor Adrian VS Hill Jenner Institute Oxford University, Old Road Campus Research Building United Kingdom
Professor Derrick Crook Experimental Medicine Division Oxford University, John Radcliffe Hospital United Kingdom
Professor Anthony Scott Tropical Medicine Oxford University, Kilifi Kenya
Professor Julian C Knight Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics Oxford University, Henry Wellcome Building of Genomic Medicine United Kingdom
Professor Charles Hinds Barts and The Royal London United Kingdom
Dr Chris S Garrard NDM Strategic Oxford University, John Radcliffe Hospital United Kingdom
Professor Najib Rahman Experimental Medicine Division Oxford University, Churchill Hospital United Kingdom
Bryant JM, Grogono DM, Rodriguez-Rincon D, Everall I, Brown KP, Moreno P, Verma D, Hill E, Drijkoningen J, Gilligan P et al. 2016. Emergence and spread of a human-transmissible multidrug-resistant nontuberculous mycobacterium. Science, 354 (6313), pp. 751-757. | Show Abstract | Read more

Lung infections with Mycobacterium abscessus, a species of multidrug-resistant nontuberculous mycobacteria, are emerging as an important global threat to individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF), in whom M. abscessus accelerates inflammatory lung damage, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Previously, M. abscessus was thought to be independently acquired by susceptible individuals from the environment. However, using whole-genome analysis of a global collection of clinical isolates, we show that the majority of M. abscessus infections are acquired through transmission, potentially via fomites and aerosols, of recently emerged dominant circulating clones that have spread globally. We demonstrate that these clones are associated with worse clinical outcomes, show increased virulence in cell-based and mouse infection models, and thus represent an urgent international infection challenge.

Kenyan Bacteraemia Study Group, Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2), Rautanen A, Pirinen M, Mills TC, Rockett KA, Strange A, Ndungu AW, Naranbhai V, Gilchrist JJ et al. 2016. Polymorphism in a lincRNA Associates with a Doubled Risk of Pneumococcal Bacteremia in Kenyan Children. Am J Hum Genet, 98 (6), pp. 1092-1100. | Show Abstract | Read more

Bacteremia (bacterial bloodstream infection) is a major cause of illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa but little is known about the role of human genetics in susceptibility. We conducted a genome-wide association study of bacteremia susceptibility in more than 5,000 Kenyan children as part of the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2). Both the blood-culture-proven bacteremia case subjects and healthy infants as controls were recruited from Kilifi, on the east coast of Kenya. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of bacteremia in Kilifi and was thus the focus of this study. We identified an association between polymorphisms in a long intergenic non-coding RNA (lincRNA) gene (AC011288.2) and pneumococcal bacteremia and replicated the results in the same population (p combined = 1.69 × 10(-9); OR = 2.47, 95% CI = 1.84-3.31). The susceptibility allele is African specific, derived rather than ancestral, and occurs at low frequency (2.7% in control subjects and 6.4% in case subjects). Our further studies showed AC011288.2 expression only in neutrophils, a cell type that is known to play a major role in pneumococcal clearance. Identification of this novel association will further focus research on the role of lincRNAs in human infectious disease.

Rautanen A, Chapman SJ, Hinds CJ. 2015. Response to Schöneweck et al.: Common genomic variation in the FER gene: useful to stratify patients with sepsis due to pneumonia? Intensive Care Med, 41 (7), pp. 1382. | Read more

Mills TC, Chapman S, Hutton P, Gordon AC, Bion J, Chiche JD, Holloway PA, Stüber F, Garrard CS, Hinds CJ et al. 2015. Variants in the Mannose-binding Lectin Gene MBL2 do not Associate With Sepsis Susceptibility or Survival in a Large European Cohort. Clin Infect Dis, 61 (5), pp. 695-703. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Sepsis is an increasingly common condition, which continues to be associated with unacceptably high mortality. A large number of association studies have investigated susceptibility to, or mortality from, sepsis for variants in the functionally important immune-related gene MBL2. These studies have largely been underpowered and contradictory. METHODS: We genotyped and analyzed 4 important MBL2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; rs5030737, rs1800450, rs1800451, and rs7096206) in 1839 European community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and peritonitis sepsis cases, and 477 controls from the United Kingdom. We analyzed the following predefined subgroups and outcomes: 28-day and 6 month mortality from sepsis due to CAP or peritonitis combined, 28-day mortality from CAP sepsis, peritonitis sepsis, pneumococcal sepsis or sepsis in younger patients, and susceptibility to CAP sepsis or pneumococcal sepsis in the United Kingdom. RESULTS: There were no significant associations (all P-values were greater than .05 after correction for multiple testing) between MBL2 genotypes and any of our predefined analyses. CONCLUSIONS: In this large, well-defined cohort of immune competent adult patients, no associations between MBL2 genotype and sepsis susceptibility or outcome were identified.

Gilchrist JJ, Mills TC, Naranbhai V, Chapman SJ, Fairfax BP, Knight JC, Williams TN, Scott JA, MacLennan CA, Rautanen A et al. 2015. Genetic variants associated with non-typhoidal Salmonella bacteraemia in African children. Lancet, 385 Suppl 1 pp. S13. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) causes invasive and frequently fatal disease in African children. Existing strategies to prevent, diagnose, and treat NTS disease are inadequate. An improved understanding of the biology of invasive Salmonella infection will facilitate the development of novel NTS control measures. Despite evidence in mice and man showing a clear role for host genetics in NTS susceptibility, there are no published studies investigating host genetic susceptibility to NTS in African populations. METHODS: We conducted a genome-wide association study (SNP Array 6.0, Affymetrix, CA, USA) of NTS bacteraemia in Kenyan children, with replication in Malawian children. We assessed the function of NTS-associated variants in an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) dataset of interferon γ (IFNγ) and lipopolysaccharide-stimulated monocytes from 432 healthy European adults. Serum IFNγ (Bio-Plex immunoassay, Bio-Rad Laboratories, CA, USA) in Malawian NTS cases (n=106) during acute disease was correlated with genotype by linear regression. FINDINGS: After whole-genome imputation and quality control, 180 Kenyan cases and 2677 controls were included in an association analysis at 7 951 614 (additive model) and 4 669 537 (genotypic model) loci. After quality control, 143 Malawian cases and 336 controls were included in the replication analysis. An intronic variant in STAT4 was associated (recessive model) with NTS in both Kenyan and Malawian children (Kenya p=5·6 × 10(-9), Malawi p=0·02, combined p=1·4 × 10(-9); odds ratio 7·2, 95% CI 3·8-13·5). The NTS-associated variant was an eQTL for STAT4 expression in IFNγ-stimulated monocytes (p=9·59 × 10(-6)), the NTS risk allele being associated with lower STAT4 expression. In Malawian children with NTS bacteraemia, the same NTS risk allele was associated with lower serum concentrations of IFNγ (p=0·02) at presentation. INTERPRETATION: STAT4 is highly plausible as a susceptibility locus for invasive NTS disease. STAT4 mediates IFNγ release in T cells and natural killer cells in response to interleukin 12 (IL12). Individuals with rare mutations elsewhere in the IL12-IFNγ axis are at risk of disseminated NTS infection. We provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, of a host genetic determinant of NTS disease in African children, and of a STAT4 variant conferring susceptibility to an infectious disease in man. FUNDING: Wellcome Trust.

Ellis MK, Elliott KS, Rautanen A, Crook DW, Hill AV, Chapman SJ. 2015. Rare variants in MYD88, IRAK4 and IKBKG and susceptibility to invasive pneumococcal disease: a population-based case-control study. PLoS One, 10 (4), pp. e0123532. | Show Abstract | Read more

Although rare variants within the Toll-like receptor signalling pathway genes have been found to underlie human primary immunodeficiencies associated with selective predisposition to invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), the contribution of variants in these genes to IPD susceptibility at the population level remains unknown. Complete re-sequencing of IRAK4, MYD88 and IKBKG genes was undertaken in 164 IPD cases from the UK and 164 geographically-matched population-based controls. 233 single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) were identified, of which ten were in coding regions. Four rare coding variants were predicted to be deleterious, two variants in MYD88 and two in IRAK4. The predicted deleterious variants in MYD88 were observed as two heterozygote cases but not seen in controls. Frequencies of predicted deleterious IRAK4 SNVs were the same in cases and controls. Our findings suggest that rare, functional variants in MYD88, IRAK4 or IKBKG do not significantly contribute to IPD susceptibility in adults at the population level.

Cited:

42

Scopus

Rautanen A, Mills TC, Gordon AC, Hutton P, Steffens M, Nuamah R, Chiche JD, Parks T, Chapman SJ, Davenport EE et al. 2015. Genome-wide association study of survival from sepsis due to pneumonia: An observational cohort study The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 3 (1), pp. 53-60. | Show Abstract | Read more

© 2015 Rautanen et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC-BY-NC-SA. Background: Sepsis continues to be a major cause of death, disability, and health-care expenditure worldwide. Despite evidence suggesting that host genetics can influence sepsis outcomes, no specific loci have yet been convincingly replicated. The aim of this study was to identify genetic variants that influence sepsis survival. Methods: We did a genome-wide association study in three independent cohorts of white adult patients admitted to intensive care units with sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock (as defined by the International Consensus Criteria) due to pneumonia or intra-abdominal infection (cohorts 1-3, n=2534 patients). The primary outcome was 28 day survival. Results for the cohort of patients with sepsis due to pneumonia were combined in a meta-analysis of 1553 patients from all three cohorts, of whom 359 died within 28 days of admission to the intensive-care unit. The most significantly associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in a further 538 white patients with sepsis due to pneumonia (cohort 4), of whom 106 died. Findings: In the genome-wide meta-analysis of three independent pneumonia cohorts (cohorts 1-3), common variants in the FER gene were strongly associated with survival (p=9·7 × 10 -8 ). Further genotyping of the top associated SNP (rs4957796) in the additional cohort (cohort 4) resulted in a combined p value of 5·6 × 10 -8 (odds ratio 0·56, 95% CI 0·45-0·69). In a time-to-event analysis, each allele reduced the mortality over 28 days by 44% (hazard ratio for death 0·56, 95% CI 0·45-0·69; likelihood ratio test p=3·4 × 10 -9 , after adjustment for age and stratification by cohort). Mortality was 9·5% in patients carrying the CC genotype, 15·2% in those carrying the TC genotype, and 25·3% in those carrying the TT genotype. No significant genetic associations were identified when patients with sepsis due to pneumonia and intra-abdominal infection were combined. Interpretation: We have identified common variants in the FER gene that associate with a reduced risk of death from sepsis due to pneumonia. The FER gene and associated molecular pathways are potential novel targets for therapy or prevention and candidates for the development of biomarkers for risk stratification. Funding: European Commission and the Wellcome Trust.

Renton M, Priestley L, Bennett L, Mackillop L, Chapman SJ. 2015. Pregnancy outcomes in cystic fibrosis: a 10-year experience from a UK centre. Obstet Med, 8 (2), pp. 99-101. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Cystic fibrosis manifests as a multisystem disease, despite this female fertility is relatively preserved with levels approaching that of the non-cystic fibrosis population. We reviewed pregnancies in cystic fibrosis patients over a 10-year period from a UK adult cystic fibrosis centre by considering maternal and fetal outcomes. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective case-note review of pregnancies during 2003-2013 using respiratory and obstetric records. RESULTS: We observed moderate falls in lung function immediately after delivery, which persisted at 12 months postpartum. We found that a decline in lung function at delivery was a marker for further decline in function during the subsequent postpartum period. We found baseline lung function was predictive of gestational age at delivery. We observed a high incidence of haemoptysis. CONCLUSION: Consistent with current guidance we found pregnancy is feasible and well tolerated in the majority of patients with cystic fibrosis. There was a high incidence of haemoptysis, which warrants further study.

Wise MP, Chapman SJ. 2015. BMJ Open Respiratory Research: 1 year on. BMJ Open Respir Res, 2 (1), pp. e000077. | Read more

Clomegah AM, Chapman SJ. 2015. Resistance to cellular HIV infection. Evol Med Public Health, 2015 (1), pp. 204. | Read more

Wrightson JM, Wray JA, Street TL, Chapman SJ, Gleeson FV, Maskell NA, Peto TEA, Rahman NM, Crook DWM. 2015. Absence of Atypical Pathogens in Pleural Infection. Chest, 148 (3), pp. e102-e103. | Read more

Rautanen A, Mills TC, Gordon AC, Hutton P, Steffens M, Nuamah R, Chiche JD, Parks T, Chapman SJ, Davenport EE et al. 2015. Genome-wide association study of survival from sepsis due to pneumonia: an observational cohort study. Lancet Respir Med, 3 (1), pp. 53-60. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Sepsis continues to be a major cause of death, disability, and health-care expenditure worldwide. Despite evidence suggesting that host genetics can influence sepsis outcomes, no specific loci have yet been convincingly replicated. The aim of this study was to identify genetic variants that influence sepsis survival. METHODS: We did a genome-wide association study in three independent cohorts of white adult patients admitted to intensive care units with sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock (as defined by the International Consensus Criteria) due to pneumonia or intra-abdominal infection (cohorts 1-3, n=2534 patients). The primary outcome was 28 day survival. Results for the cohort of patients with sepsis due to pneumonia were combined in a meta-analysis of 1553 patients from all three cohorts, of whom 359 died within 28 days of admission to the intensive-care unit. The most significantly associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in a further 538 white patients with sepsis due to pneumonia (cohort 4), of whom 106 died. FINDINGS: In the genome-wide meta-analysis of three independent pneumonia cohorts (cohorts 1-3), common variants in the FER gene were strongly associated with survival (p=9·7 × 10(-8)). Further genotyping of the top associated SNP (rs4957796) in the additional cohort (cohort 4) resulted in a combined p value of 5·6 × 10(-8) (odds ratio 0·56, 95% CI 0·45-0·69). In a time-to-event analysis, each allele reduced the mortality over 28 days by 44% (hazard ratio for death 0·56, 95% CI 0·45-0·69; likelihood ratio test p=3·4 × 10(-9), after adjustment for age and stratification by cohort). Mortality was 9·5% in patients carrying the CC genotype, 15·2% in those carrying the TC genotype, and 25·3% in those carrying the TT genotype. No significant genetic associations were identified when patients with sepsis due to pneumonia and intra-abdominal infection were combined. INTERPRETATION: We have identified common variants in the FER gene that associate with a reduced risk of death from sepsis due to pneumonia. The FER gene and associated molecular pathways are potential novel targets for therapy or prevention and candidates for the development of biomarkers for risk stratification. FUNDING: European Commission and the Wellcome Trust.

Chapman SJ, Wise MP. 2014. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: a paradigm of late-onset, single-gene human disease? BMJ Open Respir Res, 1 (1), pp. e000070. | Read more

Mills TC, Rautanen A, Elliott KS, Parks T, Naranbhai V, Ieven MM, Butler CC, Little P, Verheij T, Garrard CS et al. 2014. IFITM3 and susceptibility to respiratory viral infections in the community. J Infect Dis, 209 (7), pp. 1028-1031. | Show Abstract | Read more

Interferon-inducible transmembrane proteins 1, 2, and 3 (IFITM 1,2, and 3) are viral restriction factors that mediate cellular resistance to several viruses. We have genotyped a possible splice-site altering single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs12252) in the IFITM3 gene in 34 patients with H1N1 influenza and severe pneumonia, and >5000 individuals comprising patients with community-acquired mild lower respiratory tract infection and matched controls of Caucasian ancestry. We found evidence of an association between rs12252 rare allele homozygotes and susceptibility to mild influenza (in patients attending primary care) but could not confirm a previously reported association between this single-nucleotide polymorphism and susceptibility to severe H1N1 infection.

Chapman SJ, Wise MP. 2013. Expanding access in high-quality respiratory and critical care medicine research: BMJ Open Respiratory Research. BMJ Open Respir Res, 1 (1), pp. e000003. | Read more

Chapman SJ. 2012. Antibiotic prevention of acute exacerbations of COPD. N Engl J Med, 367 (19), pp. 1866. | Read more

Parks T, Hill AV, Chapman SJ. 2012. The Perpetual Challenge of Infectious Diseases NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, 367 (1), pp. 90-90. | Read more

Chapman SJ, Hill AV. 2012. Human genetic susceptibility to infectious disease. Nat Rev Genet, 13 (3), pp. 175-188. | Show Abstract | Read more

Recent genome-wide studies have reported novel associations between common polymorphisms and susceptibility to many major infectious diseases in humans. In parallel, an increasing number of rare mutations underlying susceptibility to specific phenotypes of infectious disease have been described. Together, these developments have highlighted a key role for host genetic variation in determining the susceptibility to infectious disease. They have also provided insights into the genetic architecture of infectious disease susceptibility and identified immune molecules and pathways that are directly relevant to the human host defence.

Cited:

157

Scopus

Chapman SJ, Hill AVS. 2012. Human genetic susceptibility to infectious disease Nature Reviews Genetics, 13 (3), pp. 175-188. | Show Abstract | Read more

Recent genome-wide studies have reported novel associations between common polymorphisms and susceptibility to many major infectious diseases in humans. In parallel, an increasing number of rare mutations underlying susceptibility to specific phenotypes of infectious disease have been described. Together, these developments have highlighted a key role for host genetic variation in determining the susceptibility to infectious disease. They have also provided insights into the genetic architecture of infectious disease susceptibility and identified immune molecules and pathways that are directly relevant to the human host defence. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

McCann FJ, Chapman SJ, Yu WC, Maskell NA, Davies RJ, Lee YC. 2012. Ability of procalcitonin to discriminate infection from non-infective inflammation using two pleural disease settings. PLoS One, 7 (12), pp. e49894. | Show Abstract | Read more

UNLABELLED: Procalcitonin has been shown to be useful in separating infection from non-infective disorders. However, infection is often paralleled by tissue inflammation. Most studies supporting the use of procalcitonin were confounded by more significant inflammation in the infection group. Few studies have examined the usefulness of procalcitonin when adjusted for inflammation.Pleural inflammation underlies the development of most exudative effusions including pleural infection and malignancy. Pleurodesis, often used to treat effusions, involves provocation of intense aseptic pleural inflammation. We conducted a two-part proof-of-concept study to test the specificity of procalcitonin in differentiating infection using cohorts of patients with pleural effusions of infective and non-infective etiologies, as well as subjects undergoing pleurodesis. METHODS: We measured the blood procalcitonin level (i) in 248 patients with pleural infection or with non-infective pleural inflammation, matched for severity of systemic inflammation by C-reactive protein (CRP), age and gender; and (ii) in patients before and 24-48 hours after induction of non-infective pleural inflammation (from talc pleurodesis). RESULTS: 1) Procalcitonin was significantly higher in patients with pleural infection compared with controls with non-infective effusions (n = 32 each group) that were case-matched for systemic inflammation as measured by CRP [median (25-75%IQR): 0.58 (0.35-1.50) vs 0.34 (0.31-0.42) µg/L respectively, p = 0.003]. 2) Talc pleurodesis provoked intense systemic inflammation, and raised serum CRP by 360% over baseline. However procalcitonin remained relatively unaffected (21% rise). 3) Procalcitonin and CRP levels did not correlate. In 214 patients with pleural infection, procalcitonin levels did not predict the survival or need for surgical intervention. CONCLUSION: Using a pleural model, this proof-of-principle study confirmed that procalcitonin is a biomarker specific for infection and is not affected by non-infective inflammation. Procalcitonin is superior to CRP in distinguishing infection from non-infective pleural diseases, even when controlled for the level of systemic inflammation.

Chapman SJ. 2011. Case 2-2011: a woman with shock after treatment of a furuncle. N Engl J Med, 364 (15), pp. 1478. | Read more

Vannberg FO, Chapman SJ, Hill AV. 2011. Human genetic susceptibility to intracellular pathogens. Immunol Rev, 240 (1), pp. 105-116. | Show Abstract | Read more

Intracellular pathogens contribute to a significant proportion of infectious disease morbidity and mortality worldwide. Increasing evidence points to a major role for host genetics in explaining inter-individual variation in susceptibility to infectious diseases. A number of monogenic disorders predisposing to infectious disease have been reported, including susceptibility to intracellular pathogens in association with mutations in genes of the interleukin-12/interleukin-23/interferon-γ axis. Common genetic variants have also been demonstrated to regulate susceptibility to intracellular infection, for example the CCR5Δ32 polymorphism that modulates human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) disease progression. Genome-wide association study approaches are being increasingly utilized to define genetic variants underlying susceptibility to major infectious diseases. This review focuses on the current state-of-the-art in genetics and genomics as pertains to understanding the genetic contribution to human susceptibility to infectious diseases caused by intracellular pathogens such as tuberculosis, leprosy, HIV-1, hepatitis, and malaria, with a particular emphasis on insights from recent genome-wide approaches. The results from these studies implicate common genetic variants in novel molecular pathways involved in human immunity to specific pathogens.

Chapman SJ, Khor CC, Vannberg FO, Rautanen A, Walley A, Segal S, Moore CE, Davies RJ, Day NP, Peshu N et al. 2010. Common NFKBIL2 polymorphisms and susceptibility to pneumococcal disease: a genetic association study. Crit Care, 14 (6), pp. R227. | Show Abstract | Read more

INTRODUCTION: Streptococcus pneumoniae remains a major global health problem and a leading cause of death in children worldwide. The factors that influence development of pneumococcal sepsis remain poorly understood, although increasing evidence points towards a role for genetic variation in the host's immune response. Recent insights from the study of animal models, rare human primary immunodeficiency states, and population-based genetic epidemiology have focused attention on the role of the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-κB in pneumococcal disease pathogenesis. The possible role of genetic variation in the atypical NF-κB inhibitor IκB-R, encoded by NFKBIL2, in susceptibility to invasive pneumococcal disease has not, to our knowledge, previously been reported upon. METHODS: An association study was performed examining the frequencies of nine common NFKBIL2 polymorphisms in two invasive pneumococcal disease case-control groups: European individuals from hospitals in Oxfordshire, UK (275 patients and 733 controls), and African individuals from Kilifi District Hospital, Kenya (687 patients with bacteraemia, of which 173 patients had pneumococcal disease, together with 550 controls). RESULTS: Five polymorphisms significantly associated with invasive pneumococcal disease susceptibility in the European study, of which two polymorphisms also associated with disease in African individuals. Heterozygosity at these loci was associated with protection from invasive pneumococcal disease (rs760477, Mantel-Haenszel 2 × 2 χ(2) = 11.797, P = 0.0006, odds ratio = 0.67, 95% confidence interval = 0.53 to 0.84; rs4925858, Mantel-Haenszel 2 × 2 χ(2) = 9.104, P = 0.003, odds ratio = 0.70, 95% confidence interval = 0.55 to 0.88). Linkage disequilibrium was more extensive in European individuals than in Kenyans. CONCLUSIONS: Common NFKBIL2 polymorphisms are associated with susceptibility to invasive pneumococcal disease in European and African populations. These findings further highlight the importance of control of NF-κB in host defence against pneumococcal disease.

Chapman SJ. 2010. Can your genes make you more prone to pneumococcal disease? Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther, 8 (9), pp. 967-972. | Read more

Rahman NM, Ali NJ, Brown G, Chapman SJ, Davies RJ, Downer NJ, Gleeson FV, Howes TQ, Treasure T, Singh S et al. 2010. Local anaesthetic thoracoscopy: British Thoracic Society Pleural Disease Guideline 2010. Thorax, 65 Suppl 2 (Suppl 2), pp. ii54-ii60. | Read more

Khor CC, Vannberg FO, Chapman SJ, Guo H, Wong SH, Walley AJ, Vukcevic D, Rautanen A, Mills TC, Chang KC et al. 2010. CISH and susceptibility to infectious diseases. N Engl J Med, 362 (22), pp. 2092-2101. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: The interleukin-2-mediated immune response is critical for host defense against infectious pathogens. Cytokine-inducible SRC homology 2 (SH2) domain protein (CISH), a suppressor of cytokine signaling, controls interleukin-2 signaling. METHODS: Using a case-control design, we tested for an association between CISH polymorphisms and susceptibility to major infectious diseases (bacteremia, tuberculosis, and severe malaria) in blood samples from 8402 persons in Gambia, Hong Kong, Kenya, Malawi, and Vietnam. We had previously tested 20 other immune-related genes in one or more of these sample collections. RESULTS: We observed associations between variant alleles of multiple CISH polymorphisms and increased susceptibility to each infectious disease in each of the study populations. When all five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (at positions -639, -292, -163, +1320, and +3415 [all relative to CISH]) within the CISH-associated locus were considered together in a multiple-SNP score, we found an association between CISH genetic variants and susceptibility to bacteremia, malaria, and tuberculosis (P=3.8x10(-11) for all comparisons), with -292 accounting for most of the association signal (P=4.58x10(-7)). Peripheral-blood mononuclear cells obtained from adult subjects carrying the -292 variant, as compared with wild-type cells, showed a muted response to the stimulation of interleukin-2 production--that is, 25 to 40% less CISH expression. CONCLUSIONS: Variants of CISH are associated with susceptibility to diseases caused by diverse infectious pathogens, suggesting that negative regulators of cytokine signaling have a role in immunity against various infectious diseases. The overall risk of one of these infectious diseases was increased by at least 18% among persons carrying the variant CISH alleles.

Chapman SJ, Vannberg FO, Khor CC, Rautanen A, Maskell NA, Davies CW, Moore CE, Day NP, Crook DW, Davies RJ, Hill AV. 2010. Mannose-binding lectin genotypes: lack of association with susceptibility to thoracic empyema. BMC Med Genet, 11 (1), pp. 5. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: The role of the innate immune protein mannose-binding lectin (MBL) in host defence against severe respiratory infection remains controversial. Thoracic empyema is a suppurative lung infection that arises as a major complication of pneumonia and is associated with a significant mortality. Although the pathogenesis of thoracic empyema is poorly understood, genetic susceptibility loci for this condition have recently been identified. The possible role of MBL genotypic deficiency in susceptibility to thoracic empyema has not previously been reported. METHODS: To investigate this further we compared the frequencies of the six functional MBL polymorphisms in 170 European individuals with thoracic empyema and 225 healthy control individuals. RESULTS: No overall association was observed between MBL genotypic deficiency and susceptibility to thoracic empyema (2 x 2 Chi square = 0.02, P = 0.87). Furthermore, no association was seen between MBL deficiency and susceptibility to the Gram-positive or pneumococcal empyema subgroups. MBL genotypic deficiency did not associate with progression to death or requirement for surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that MBL genotypic deficiency does not associate with susceptibility to thoracic empyema in humans.

Wong SH, Gochhait S, Malhotra D, Pettersson FH, Teo YY, Khor CC, Rautanen A, Chapman SJ, Mills TC, Srivastava A et al. 2010. Leprosy and the adaptation of human toll-like receptor 1. PLoS Pathog, 6 (7), pp. e1000979. | Show Abstract | Read more

Leprosy is an infectious disease caused by the obligate intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium leprae and remains endemic in many parts of the world. Despite several major studies on susceptibility to leprosy, few genomic loci have been replicated independently. We have conducted an association analysis of more than 1,500 individuals from different case-control and family studies, and observed consistent associations between genetic variants in both TLR1 and the HLA-DRB1/DQA1 regions with susceptibility to leprosy (TLR1 I602S, case-control P = 5.7 x 10(-8), OR = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.20-0.48, and HLA-DQA1 rs1071630, case-control P = 4.9 x 10(-14), OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.35-0.54). The effect sizes of these associations suggest that TLR1 and HLA-DRB1/DQA1 are major susceptibility genes in susceptibility to leprosy. Further population differentiation analysis shows that the TLR1 locus is extremely differentiated. The protective dysfunctional 602S allele is rare in Africa but expands to become the dominant allele among individuals of European descent. This supports the hypothesis that this locus may be under selection from mycobacteria or other pathogens that are recognized by TLR1 and its co-receptors. These observations provide insight into the long standing host-pathogen relationship between human and mycobacteria and highlight the key role of the TLR pathway in infectious diseases.

Chapman SJ, Khor CC, Vannberg FO, Rautanen A, Segal S, Moore CE, Davies RJ, Day NP, Peshu N, Crook DW et al. 2010. NFKBIZ polymorphisms and susceptibility to pneumococcal disease in European and African populations. Genes Immun, 11 (4), pp. 319-325. | Show Abstract | Read more

The proinflammatory transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) has a central role in host defence against pneumococcal disease. Both rare mutations and common polymorphisms in the NFKBIA gene encoding the NF-kappaB inhibitor, IkappaB-alpha, associate with susceptibility to bacterial disease, but the possible role of polymorphisms within the related IkappaB-zeta gene NFKBIZ in the development of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) has not been reported previously. To investigate this further, we examined the frequencies of 22 single-nucleotide polymorphisms spanning NFKBIZ in two case-control studies, comprising UK Caucasian (n=1008) and Kenyan (n=723) individuals. Nine polymorphisms within a single UK linkage disequilibrium (LD) block and all four polymorphisms within the equivalent, shorter Kenyan LD block displayed either a significant association with IPD or a trend towards association. For each polymorphism, heterozygosity was associated with protection from IPD when compared with the combined homozygous states (for example, for rs600718, Mantel-Haenszel 2 x 2 chi(2)=7.576, P=0.006, odds ratio (OR)=0.67, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for OR: 0.51-0.88; for rs616597, Mantel-Haenszel 2 x 2 chi(2)=8.715, P=0.003, OR=0.65, 95% CI: 0.49-0.86). We conclude that multiple NFKBIZ polymorphisms associate with susceptibility to IPD in humans. The study of multiple populations may aid in fine mapping of associations within extensive regions of strong LD ('transethnic mapping').

Khor CC, Chapman SJ, Vannberg FO, Hill AVS, O'Neill LAJ. 2008. Reply to: Analysis of association of the TIRAP (MAL) S180L variant and tuberculosis in three populations Nature Genetics, 40 (3), pp. 262-263. | Read more

Vannberg FO, Chapman SJ, Khor CC, Tosh K, Floyd S, Jackson-Sillah D, Crampin A, Sichali L, Bah B, Gustafson P et al. 2008. CD209 genetic polymorphism and tuberculosis disease. PLoS One, 3 (1), pp. e1388. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. DC-SIGN, encoded by CD209, is a receptor capable of binding and internalizing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Previous studies have reported that the CD209 promoter single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-336A/G exerts an effect on CD209 expression and is associated with human susceptibility to dengue, HIV-1 and tuberculosis in humans. The present study investigates the role of the CD209 -336A/G variant in susceptibility to tuberculosis in a large sample of individuals from sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A total of 2,176 individuals enrolled in tuberculosis case-control studies from four sub-Saharan Africa countries were genotyped for the CD209 -336A/G SNP (rs4804803). Significant overall protection against pulmonary tuberculosis was observed with the -336G allele when the study groups were combined (n = 914 controls vs. 1262 cases, Mantel-Haenszel 2 x 2 chi(2) = 7.47, P = 0.006, odds ratio = 0.86, 95%CI 0.77-0.96). In addition, the patients with -336GG were associated with a decreased risk of cavitory tuberculosis, a severe form of tuberculosis disease (n = 557, Pearson's 2x2 chi(2) = 17.34, P = 0.00003, odds ratio = 0.42, 95%CI 0.27-0.65). This direction of association is opposite to a previously observed result in a smaller study of susceptibility to tuberculosis in a South African Coloured population, but entirely in keeping with the previously observed protective effect of the -336G allele. CONCLUSION: This study finds that the CD209 -336G variant allele is associated with significant protection against tuberculosis in individuals from sub-Saharan Africa and, furthermore, cases with -336GG were significantly less likely to develop tuberculosis-induced lung cavitation. Previous in vitro work demonstrated that the promoter variant -336G allele causes down-regulation of CD209 mRNA expression. Our present work suggests that decreased levels of the DC-SIGN receptor may therefore be protective against both clinical tuberculosis in general and cavitory tuberculosis disease in particular. This is consistent with evidence that Mycobacteria can utilize DC-SIGN binding to suppress the protective pro-inflammatory immune response.

Khor CC, Vannberg FO, Chapman SJ, Walley A, Aucan C, Loke H, White NJ, Peto T, Khor LK, Kwiatkowski D et al. 2007. Positive replication and linkage disequilibrium mapping of the chromosome 21q22.1 malaria susceptibility locus. Genes Immun, 8 (7), pp. 570-576. | Show Abstract | Read more

Four cytokine receptor genes are located on Chr21q22.11, encoding the alpha and beta subunits of the interferon-alpha receptor (IFNAR1 and IFNAR2), the beta subunit of the interleukin 10 receptor (IL10RB) and the second subunit of the interferon-gamma receptor (IFNGR2). We previously reported that two variants in IFNAR1 were associated with susceptibility to malaria in Gambians. We now present an extensive fine-scale mapping of the associated region utilizing 45 additional genetic markers obtained from public databases and by sequencing a 44 kb region in and around the IFNAR1 gene in 24 Gambian children (12 cases/12 controls). Within the IFNAR1 gene, a newly studied C --> G single-nucleotide polymorphism (IFNAR1 272354c-g) at position -576 relative to the transcription start was found to be more strongly associated with susceptibility to severe malaria. Association was observed in three populations: in Gambian (P=0.002), Kenyan (P=0.022) and Vietnamese (P=0.005) case-control studies. When all three studies were combined, using the Mantel-Haenszel test, the presence of IFNAR1 -576G was associated with a substantially elevated risk of severe malaria (N=2444, OR=1.38, 95% CI: 1.17-1.64; P=1.7 x 10(-4)). This study builds on previous work to further highlight the importance of the type-I interferon pathway in malaria susceptibility and illustrates the utility of typing SNPs within regions of high linkage disequilibrium in multiple populations to confirm initial positive associations.

Chapman SJ, Khor CC, Vannberg FO, Frodsham A, Walley A, Maskell NA, Davies CW, Segal S, Moore CE, Gillespie SH et al. 2007. IkappaB genetic polymorphisms and invasive pneumococcal disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 176 (2), pp. 181-187. | Show Abstract | Read more

RATIONALE: Increasing evidence supports a key role for the transcription factor nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB in the host response to pneumococcal infection. Control of NF-kappaB activity is achieved through interactions with the IkappaB family of inhibitors, encoded by the genes NFKBIA, NFKBIB, and NFKBIE. Rare NFKBIA mutations cause immunodeficiency with severe bacterial infection, raising the possibility that common IkappaB gene polymorphisms confer susceptibility to common bacterial disease. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether polymorphisms in NFKBIA, NFKBIB, and NFKBIE associate with susceptibility to invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and thoracic empyema. METHODS: We studied the frequencies of 62 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across NFKBIA, NFKBIB, and NFKBIE in individuals with IPD and control subjects (n=1,060). Significantly associated SNPs were then studied in a group of individuals with thoracic empyema and a second control group (n=632). MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Two SNPs in the NFKBIA promoter region were associated with protection from IPD in both the initial study group and the pneumococcal empyema subgroup. Significant protection from IPD was observed for carriage of mutant alleles at these two loci on combining the groups (SNP rs3138053: Mantel-Haenszel 2x2 chi2=13.030, p=0.0003; odds ratio [OR], 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.45-0.79; rs2233406: Mantel-Haenszel 2x2 chi2=18.927, p=0.00001; OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.42-0.72). An NFKBIE SNP associated with susceptibility to IPD but not pneumococcal empyema. None of the NFKBIB SNPs associated with IPD susceptibility. CONCLUSIONS: NFKBIA polymorphisms associate with susceptibility to IPD. Genetic variation in an inhibitor of NF-kappaB therefore not only causes a very rare immunodeficiency state but may also influence the development of common infectious disease.

Chapman SJ, Vannberg FO, Khor CC, Segal S, Moore CE, Knox K, Day NP, Davies RJ, Crook DW, Hill AV. 2007. Functional polymorphisms in the FCN2 gene are not associated with invasive pneumococcal disease. Mol Immunol, 44 (12), pp. 3267-3270. | Show Abstract | Read more

L-ficolin is a pattern-recognition molecule which binds lipoteichoic acid and Gram-positive bacteria and activates the lectin pathway of complement. Five common functional polymorphisms have recently been identified in the FCN2 gene which encodes L-ficolin: three promoter polymorphisms (at positions -986, -602 and -4) which affect serum L-ficolin concentration, and two non-synonymous polymorphisms (Thr236Met and Ala258Ser) which influence carbohydrate binding. We studied the frequencies of these polymorphisms in individuals with invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and a control group. Although the five FCN2 polymorphisms were each present in the UK Caucasian population studied, no significant associations were observed between the FCN2 polymorphisms and susceptibility to IPD. This is in contrast to mannose-binding lectin deficiency, which we have previously shown to be associated with increased susceptibility to IPD. Although we are unable to exclude small effects of FCN2 genetic variation on susceptibility to IPD, the result suggests that L-ficolin may not be critical for host defence against pneumococcal infection.

Khor CC, Chapman SJ, Vannberg FO, Dunne A, Murphy C, Ling EY, Frodsham AJ, Walley AJ, Kyrieleis O, Khan A et al. 2007. A Mal functional variant is associated with protection against invasive pneumococcal disease, bacteremia, malaria and tuberculosis. Nat Genet, 39 (4), pp. 523-528. | Show Abstract | Read more

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and members of their signaling pathway are important in the initiation of the innate immune response to a wide variety of pathogens. The adaptor protein Mal (also known as TIRAP), encoded by TIRAP (MIM 606252), mediates downstream signaling of TLR2 and TLR4 (refs. 4-6). We report a case-control study of 6,106 individuals from the UK, Vietnam and several African countries with invasive pneumococcal disease, bacteremia, malaria and tuberculosis. We genotyped 33 SNPs, including rs8177374, which encodes a leucine substitution at Ser180 of Mal. We found that heterozygous carriage of this variant associated independently with all four infectious diseases in the different study populations. Combining the study groups, we found substantial support for a protective effect of S180L heterozygosity against these infectious diseases (N = 6,106; overall P = 9.6 x 10(-8)). We found that the Mal S180L variant attenuated TLR2 signal transduction.

Rahman NM, Chapman SJ, Davies RJ. 2006. The approach to the patient with a parapneumonic effusion. Clin Chest Med, 27 (2), pp. 253-266. | Show Abstract | Read more

Parapneumonic effusion is a common clinical problem, and those that go on to develop pleural infection have high morbidity and mortality. The process of pleural infection evolution involves changes in pleural physiology that are increasingly being elucidated and understood. The microbiology of pleural infection has changed over recent years, with clear differences emerging between hospital- and community-acquired infections. Using biochemical surrogates of infection, chest drainage can be undertaken rationally for those who do not respond to antibiotics alone. Recent data suggest that fibrinolytics do not influence outcomes in pleural infection. The optimal type and timing of surgery remain controversial.

Chapman SJ, Khor CC, Vannberg FO, Maskell NA, Davies CW, Hedley EL, Segal S, Moore CE, Knox K, Day NP et al. 2006. PTPN22 and invasive bacterial disease. Nat Genet, 38 (5), pp. 499-500. | Read more

Rahman NM, Chapman SJ, Davies RJ. 2006. Diagnosis and management of infectious pleural effusion. Treat Respir Med, 5 (5), pp. 295-304. | Show Abstract | Read more

Pleural infection remains a common illness, with a high morbidity and mortality. The development of frank empyema from a simple exudative pleural effusion is a result of biochemical changes within the pleural space in response to bacterial invasion. These changes can be used in the diagnosis of pleural infection and used to predict which patients will require intercostal drainage for resolution of infection. Recent large trials in empyema have further advanced our knowledge of microbiologic patterns, informing important decisions about empiric antibacterial therapy. Diagnosis of pleural infection relies on high clinical suspicion in association with clinical features, radiology, and pleural fluid characteristics. Treatment of pleural infection is based upon accurate and often empiric choice of antibacterial agents, intercostal drainage in certain contexts, and appropriate surgical referral. Intrapleural thrombolytic therapy is not currently recommended for the treatment of pleural infection, on the basis of evidence from the largest randomized trial in empyema to date.

Rahman NM, Chapman SJ, Davies RJ. 2004. Pleural effusion: a structured approach to care. Br Med Bull, 72 (1), pp. 31-47. | Show Abstract | Read more

The accumulation of fluid in the pleural space is a common manifestation of a wide range of disease. This review provides a structured approach to the investigation of the patient with a pleural effusion. This should allow an accurate diagnosis to be made with the minimum number of invasive and time-consuming investigations.

Chapman SJ, Davies RJ. 2004. Recent advances in parapneumonic effusion and empyema. Curr Opin Pulm Med, 10 (4), pp. 299-304. | Show Abstract | Read more

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Complicated parapneumonic effusion and empyema continue to account for significant morbidity and mortality, and uncertainties remain regarding their optimal management. This review describes recent advances in this field, as well as areas for future research. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent advances have addressed the pathogenesis, bacteriology, and treatment of pleural infection. Key areas for research in the development of empyema include the interplay between inflammatory and coagulation cascades and development of fibrosis within the pleural space. The varied bacteriology of empyema has been more clearly defined, and in particular the differences between community- and hospital-acquired infection highlighted. Studies of treatment have focused particularly on the roles of intrapleural fibrinolytics and surgery. SUMMARY: Increased understanding of the pathogenesis of empyema may ultimately yield novel therapeutic targets. Comprehensive descriptions of the bacteriology of empyema aids antibiotic choice, and the use of intrapleural DNase shows promise in facilitating drainage of infected pleural fluid. Uncertainties remain, such as the role of intrapleural fibrinolytics and the optimal timing of surgical intervention.

Chapman SJ, Davies RJ. 2004. Pleural effusions. Clin Med (Lond), 4 (3), pp. 207-210. | Read more

Chapman SJ, Davies RJ. 2004. The management of pleural space infections. Respirology, 9 (1), pp. 4-11. | Show Abstract | Read more

Pleural infection is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, and its clinical management is challenging. The diagnosis of empyema and tuberculous pleurisy may be difficult, and these conditions may be confused with other causes of exudative pleural effusions. Complicated parapneumonic effusion or empyema may present with 'atypical' clinical features; delays in diagnosis are common and may contribute to the high mortality of these infections. Pleural aspiration is the key diagnostic step; pleural fluid that is purulent or that has a pH < 7.2, or organisms on Gram stain or culture, is an indication for formal intercostal drainage. In order to achieve a definitive diagnosis of tuberculous pleurisy, Mycobacterium tuberculosis must be isolated in the culture of pleural fluid, pleural tissue or sputum; demonstration of granulomas in pleural tissue is also suggestive of tuberculosis. The use of pleural fluid biochemical markers, such as adenosine deaminase, in the diagnosis of tuberculous pleurisy varies among clinicians; the diagnostic value of such markers is affected by the background prevalence of tuberculosis and the likelihood of an alternative diagnosis. Uncertainties also remain regarding the treatment of pleural infection. Treatment of complicated parapneumonic effusion and empyema involves prolonged courses of antibiotics and attention to the patient's nutritional state. The role of intrapleural fibrinolytics and the optimal timing of surgical intervention are unknown. The lack of clear predictors of clinical outcome in empyema contributes to the difficulty in treating this condition. The pharmacological treatment of tuberculous pleurisy is the same as for pulmonary tuberculosis; the precise role of steroids in the treatment of tuberculous pleurisy remains uncertain.

Chapman SJ, Cookson WO, Musk AW, Lee YC. 2003. Benign asbestos pleural diseases. Curr Opin Pulm Med, 9 (4), pp. 266-271. | Show Abstract | Read more

The global incidence of asbestos-related lung diseases is expected to continue to rise. Although much attention is devoted to malignant diseases induced by asbestos, benign asbestos pleural diseases (pleural plaques, benign asbestos-related pleural effusion, diffuse pleural thickening, and rounded atelectasis) are common in clinical practice and often produce diagnostic difficulties. The authors describe the clinical features of benign asbestos-related pleural disease, before focusing on recent advances in radiology and on controversies surrounding the pathogenesis of asbestos-induced pleural injury. Advances in computed tomography have assisted the understanding and diagnosis of these diseases, and increasing evidence suggests radiologic appearances on computed tomography can predict impairment in pulmonary function tests. The pathogenesis of asbestos-induced pleural diseases has also been subject to extensive investigation. Asbestos fibers can provoke pleural inflammation from direct toxicity to mesothelial cells. Inhaled asbestos fibers can also elicit pleural injury indirectly via the release of growth factors and inflammatory cytokines from within the lung. Although progress has been made in the understanding of the mechanisms of asbestos pleural injury, many important questions remain unanswered. The role of genetic factors and possible environmental cofactors (eg, simian virus 40) in the pathogenesis of benign asbestos pleural diseases requires further research.

Bryant JM, Grogono DM, Rodriguez-Rincon D, Everall I, Brown KP, Moreno P, Verma D, Hill E, Drijkoningen J, Gilligan P et al. 2016. Emergence and spread of a human-transmissible multidrug-resistant nontuberculous mycobacterium. Science, 354 (6313), pp. 751-757. | Show Abstract | Read more

Lung infections with Mycobacterium abscessus, a species of multidrug-resistant nontuberculous mycobacteria, are emerging as an important global threat to individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF), in whom M. abscessus accelerates inflammatory lung damage, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Previously, M. abscessus was thought to be independently acquired by susceptible individuals from the environment. However, using whole-genome analysis of a global collection of clinical isolates, we show that the majority of M. abscessus infections are acquired through transmission, potentially via fomites and aerosols, of recently emerged dominant circulating clones that have spread globally. We demonstrate that these clones are associated with worse clinical outcomes, show increased virulence in cell-based and mouse infection models, and thus represent an urgent international infection challenge.

Kenyan Bacteraemia Study Group, Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2), Rautanen A, Pirinen M, Mills TC, Rockett KA, Strange A, Ndungu AW, Naranbhai V, Gilchrist JJ et al. 2016. Polymorphism in a lincRNA Associates with a Doubled Risk of Pneumococcal Bacteremia in Kenyan Children. Am J Hum Genet, 98 (6), pp. 1092-1100. | Show Abstract | Read more

Bacteremia (bacterial bloodstream infection) is a major cause of illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa but little is known about the role of human genetics in susceptibility. We conducted a genome-wide association study of bacteremia susceptibility in more than 5,000 Kenyan children as part of the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2). Both the blood-culture-proven bacteremia case subjects and healthy infants as controls were recruited from Kilifi, on the east coast of Kenya. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of bacteremia in Kilifi and was thus the focus of this study. We identified an association between polymorphisms in a long intergenic non-coding RNA (lincRNA) gene (AC011288.2) and pneumococcal bacteremia and replicated the results in the same population (p combined = 1.69 × 10(-9); OR = 2.47, 95% CI = 1.84-3.31). The susceptibility allele is African specific, derived rather than ancestral, and occurs at low frequency (2.7% in control subjects and 6.4% in case subjects). Our further studies showed AC011288.2 expression only in neutrophils, a cell type that is known to play a major role in pneumococcal clearance. Identification of this novel association will further focus research on the role of lincRNAs in human infectious disease.

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Rautanen A, Mills TC, Gordon AC, Hutton P, Steffens M, Nuamah R, Chiche JD, Parks T, Chapman SJ, Davenport EE et al. 2015. Genome-wide association study of survival from sepsis due to pneumonia: An observational cohort study The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 3 (1), pp. 53-60. | Show Abstract | Read more

© 2015 Rautanen et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC-BY-NC-SA. Background: Sepsis continues to be a major cause of death, disability, and health-care expenditure worldwide. Despite evidence suggesting that host genetics can influence sepsis outcomes, no specific loci have yet been convincingly replicated. The aim of this study was to identify genetic variants that influence sepsis survival. Methods: We did a genome-wide association study in three independent cohorts of white adult patients admitted to intensive care units with sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock (as defined by the International Consensus Criteria) due to pneumonia or intra-abdominal infection (cohorts 1-3, n=2534 patients). The primary outcome was 28 day survival. Results for the cohort of patients with sepsis due to pneumonia were combined in a meta-analysis of 1553 patients from all three cohorts, of whom 359 died within 28 days of admission to the intensive-care unit. The most significantly associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in a further 538 white patients with sepsis due to pneumonia (cohort 4), of whom 106 died. Findings: In the genome-wide meta-analysis of three independent pneumonia cohorts (cohorts 1-3), common variants in the FER gene were strongly associated with survival (p=9·7 × 10 -8 ). Further genotyping of the top associated SNP (rs4957796) in the additional cohort (cohort 4) resulted in a combined p value of 5·6 × 10 -8 (odds ratio 0·56, 95% CI 0·45-0·69). In a time-to-event analysis, each allele reduced the mortality over 28 days by 44% (hazard ratio for death 0·56, 95% CI 0·45-0·69; likelihood ratio test p=3·4 × 10 -9 , after adjustment for age and stratification by cohort). Mortality was 9·5% in patients carrying the CC genotype, 15·2% in those carrying the TC genotype, and 25·3% in those carrying the TT genotype. No significant genetic associations were identified when patients with sepsis due to pneumonia and intra-abdominal infection were combined. Interpretation: We have identified common variants in the FER gene that associate with a reduced risk of death from sepsis due to pneumonia. The FER gene and associated molecular pathways are potential novel targets for therapy or prevention and candidates for the development of biomarkers for risk stratification. Funding: European Commission and the Wellcome Trust.

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Chapman SJ, Hill AVS. 2012. Human genetic susceptibility to infectious disease Nature Reviews Genetics, 13 (3), pp. 175-188. | Show Abstract | Read more

Recent genome-wide studies have reported novel associations between common polymorphisms and susceptibility to many major infectious diseases in humans. In parallel, an increasing number of rare mutations underlying susceptibility to specific phenotypes of infectious disease have been described. Together, these developments have highlighted a key role for host genetic variation in determining the susceptibility to infectious disease. They have also provided insights into the genetic architecture of infectious disease susceptibility and identified immune molecules and pathways that are directly relevant to the human host defence. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Vannberg FO, Chapman SJ, Hill AV. 2011. Human genetic susceptibility to intracellular pathogens. Immunol Rev, 240 (1), pp. 105-116. | Show Abstract | Read more

Intracellular pathogens contribute to a significant proportion of infectious disease morbidity and mortality worldwide. Increasing evidence points to a major role for host genetics in explaining inter-individual variation in susceptibility to infectious diseases. A number of monogenic disorders predisposing to infectious disease have been reported, including susceptibility to intracellular pathogens in association with mutations in genes of the interleukin-12/interleukin-23/interferon-γ axis. Common genetic variants have also been demonstrated to regulate susceptibility to intracellular infection, for example the CCR5Δ32 polymorphism that modulates human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) disease progression. Genome-wide association study approaches are being increasingly utilized to define genetic variants underlying susceptibility to major infectious diseases. This review focuses on the current state-of-the-art in genetics and genomics as pertains to understanding the genetic contribution to human susceptibility to infectious diseases caused by intracellular pathogens such as tuberculosis, leprosy, HIV-1, hepatitis, and malaria, with a particular emphasis on insights from recent genome-wide approaches. The results from these studies implicate common genetic variants in novel molecular pathways involved in human immunity to specific pathogens.

Khor CC, Vannberg FO, Chapman SJ, Guo H, Wong SH, Walley AJ, Vukcevic D, Rautanen A, Mills TC, Chang KC et al. 2010. CISH and susceptibility to infectious diseases. N Engl J Med, 362 (22), pp. 2092-2101. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: The interleukin-2-mediated immune response is critical for host defense against infectious pathogens. Cytokine-inducible SRC homology 2 (SH2) domain protein (CISH), a suppressor of cytokine signaling, controls interleukin-2 signaling. METHODS: Using a case-control design, we tested for an association between CISH polymorphisms and susceptibility to major infectious diseases (bacteremia, tuberculosis, and severe malaria) in blood samples from 8402 persons in Gambia, Hong Kong, Kenya, Malawi, and Vietnam. We had previously tested 20 other immune-related genes in one or more of these sample collections. RESULTS: We observed associations between variant alleles of multiple CISH polymorphisms and increased susceptibility to each infectious disease in each of the study populations. When all five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (at positions -639, -292, -163, +1320, and +3415 [all relative to CISH]) within the CISH-associated locus were considered together in a multiple-SNP score, we found an association between CISH genetic variants and susceptibility to bacteremia, malaria, and tuberculosis (P=3.8x10(-11) for all comparisons), with -292 accounting for most of the association signal (P=4.58x10(-7)). Peripheral-blood mononuclear cells obtained from adult subjects carrying the -292 variant, as compared with wild-type cells, showed a muted response to the stimulation of interleukin-2 production--that is, 25 to 40% less CISH expression. CONCLUSIONS: Variants of CISH are associated with susceptibility to diseases caused by diverse infectious pathogens, suggesting that negative regulators of cytokine signaling have a role in immunity against various infectious diseases. The overall risk of one of these infectious diseases was increased by at least 18% among persons carrying the variant CISH alleles.

Wong SH, Gochhait S, Malhotra D, Pettersson FH, Teo YY, Khor CC, Rautanen A, Chapman SJ, Mills TC, Srivastava A et al. 2010. Leprosy and the adaptation of human toll-like receptor 1. PLoS Pathog, 6 (7), pp. e1000979. | Show Abstract | Read more

Leprosy is an infectious disease caused by the obligate intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium leprae and remains endemic in many parts of the world. Despite several major studies on susceptibility to leprosy, few genomic loci have been replicated independently. We have conducted an association analysis of more than 1,500 individuals from different case-control and family studies, and observed consistent associations between genetic variants in both TLR1 and the HLA-DRB1/DQA1 regions with susceptibility to leprosy (TLR1 I602S, case-control P = 5.7 x 10(-8), OR = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.20-0.48, and HLA-DQA1 rs1071630, case-control P = 4.9 x 10(-14), OR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.35-0.54). The effect sizes of these associations suggest that TLR1 and HLA-DRB1/DQA1 are major susceptibility genes in susceptibility to leprosy. Further population differentiation analysis shows that the TLR1 locus is extremely differentiated. The protective dysfunctional 602S allele is rare in Africa but expands to become the dominant allele among individuals of European descent. This supports the hypothesis that this locus may be under selection from mycobacteria or other pathogens that are recognized by TLR1 and its co-receptors. These observations provide insight into the long standing host-pathogen relationship between human and mycobacteria and highlight the key role of the TLR pathway in infectious diseases.

Vannberg FO, Chapman SJ, Khor CC, Tosh K, Floyd S, Jackson-Sillah D, Crampin A, Sichali L, Bah B, Gustafson P et al. 2008. CD209 genetic polymorphism and tuberculosis disease. PLoS One, 3 (1), pp. e1388. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. DC-SIGN, encoded by CD209, is a receptor capable of binding and internalizing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Previous studies have reported that the CD209 promoter single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-336A/G exerts an effect on CD209 expression and is associated with human susceptibility to dengue, HIV-1 and tuberculosis in humans. The present study investigates the role of the CD209 -336A/G variant in susceptibility to tuberculosis in a large sample of individuals from sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A total of 2,176 individuals enrolled in tuberculosis case-control studies from four sub-Saharan Africa countries were genotyped for the CD209 -336A/G SNP (rs4804803). Significant overall protection against pulmonary tuberculosis was observed with the -336G allele when the study groups were combined (n = 914 controls vs. 1262 cases, Mantel-Haenszel 2 x 2 chi(2) = 7.47, P = 0.006, odds ratio = 0.86, 95%CI 0.77-0.96). In addition, the patients with -336GG were associated with a decreased risk of cavitory tuberculosis, a severe form of tuberculosis disease (n = 557, Pearson's 2x2 chi(2) = 17.34, P = 0.00003, odds ratio = 0.42, 95%CI 0.27-0.65). This direction of association is opposite to a previously observed result in a smaller study of susceptibility to tuberculosis in a South African Coloured population, but entirely in keeping with the previously observed protective effect of the -336G allele. CONCLUSION: This study finds that the CD209 -336G variant allele is associated with significant protection against tuberculosis in individuals from sub-Saharan Africa and, furthermore, cases with -336GG were significantly less likely to develop tuberculosis-induced lung cavitation. Previous in vitro work demonstrated that the promoter variant -336G allele causes down-regulation of CD209 mRNA expression. Our present work suggests that decreased levels of the DC-SIGN receptor may therefore be protective against both clinical tuberculosis in general and cavitory tuberculosis disease in particular. This is consistent with evidence that Mycobacteria can utilize DC-SIGN binding to suppress the protective pro-inflammatory immune response.

Chapman SJ, Khor CC, Vannberg FO, Frodsham A, Walley A, Maskell NA, Davies CW, Segal S, Moore CE, Gillespie SH et al. 2007. IkappaB genetic polymorphisms and invasive pneumococcal disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 176 (2), pp. 181-187. | Show Abstract | Read more

RATIONALE: Increasing evidence supports a key role for the transcription factor nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB in the host response to pneumococcal infection. Control of NF-kappaB activity is achieved through interactions with the IkappaB family of inhibitors, encoded by the genes NFKBIA, NFKBIB, and NFKBIE. Rare NFKBIA mutations cause immunodeficiency with severe bacterial infection, raising the possibility that common IkappaB gene polymorphisms confer susceptibility to common bacterial disease. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether polymorphisms in NFKBIA, NFKBIB, and NFKBIE associate with susceptibility to invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and thoracic empyema. METHODS: We studied the frequencies of 62 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across NFKBIA, NFKBIB, and NFKBIE in individuals with IPD and control subjects (n=1,060). Significantly associated SNPs were then studied in a group of individuals with thoracic empyema and a second control group (n=632). MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Two SNPs in the NFKBIA promoter region were associated with protection from IPD in both the initial study group and the pneumococcal empyema subgroup. Significant protection from IPD was observed for carriage of mutant alleles at these two loci on combining the groups (SNP rs3138053: Mantel-Haenszel 2x2 chi2=13.030, p=0.0003; odds ratio [OR], 0.60; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.45-0.79; rs2233406: Mantel-Haenszel 2x2 chi2=18.927, p=0.00001; OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.42-0.72). An NFKBIE SNP associated with susceptibility to IPD but not pneumococcal empyema. None of the NFKBIB SNPs associated with IPD susceptibility. CONCLUSIONS: NFKBIA polymorphisms associate with susceptibility to IPD. Genetic variation in an inhibitor of NF-kappaB therefore not only causes a very rare immunodeficiency state but may also influence the development of common infectious disease.

Chapman SJ, Vannberg FO, Khor CC, Segal S, Moore CE, Knox K, Day NP, Davies RJ, Crook DW, Hill AV. 2007. Functional polymorphisms in the FCN2 gene are not associated with invasive pneumococcal disease. Mol Immunol, 44 (12), pp. 3267-3270. | Show Abstract | Read more

L-ficolin is a pattern-recognition molecule which binds lipoteichoic acid and Gram-positive bacteria and activates the lectin pathway of complement. Five common functional polymorphisms have recently been identified in the FCN2 gene which encodes L-ficolin: three promoter polymorphisms (at positions -986, -602 and -4) which affect serum L-ficolin concentration, and two non-synonymous polymorphisms (Thr236Met and Ala258Ser) which influence carbohydrate binding. We studied the frequencies of these polymorphisms in individuals with invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and a control group. Although the five FCN2 polymorphisms were each present in the UK Caucasian population studied, no significant associations were observed between the FCN2 polymorphisms and susceptibility to IPD. This is in contrast to mannose-binding lectin deficiency, which we have previously shown to be associated with increased susceptibility to IPD. Although we are unable to exclude small effects of FCN2 genetic variation on susceptibility to IPD, the result suggests that L-ficolin may not be critical for host defence against pneumococcal infection.

Khor CC, Chapman SJ, Vannberg FO, Dunne A, Murphy C, Ling EY, Frodsham AJ, Walley AJ, Kyrieleis O, Khan A et al. 2007. A Mal functional variant is associated with protection against invasive pneumococcal disease, bacteremia, malaria and tuberculosis. Nat Genet, 39 (4), pp. 523-528. | Show Abstract | Read more

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and members of their signaling pathway are important in the initiation of the innate immune response to a wide variety of pathogens. The adaptor protein Mal (also known as TIRAP), encoded by TIRAP (MIM 606252), mediates downstream signaling of TLR2 and TLR4 (refs. 4-6). We report a case-control study of 6,106 individuals from the UK, Vietnam and several African countries with invasive pneumococcal disease, bacteremia, malaria and tuberculosis. We genotyped 33 SNPs, including rs8177374, which encodes a leucine substitution at Ser180 of Mal. We found that heterozygous carriage of this variant associated independently with all four infectious diseases in the different study populations. Combining the study groups, we found substantial support for a protective effect of S180L heterozygosity against these infectious diseases (N = 6,106; overall P = 9.6 x 10(-8)). We found that the Mal S180L variant attenuated TLR2 signal transduction.

Chapman SJ, Khor CC, Vannberg FO, Maskell NA, Davies CW, Hedley EL, Segal S, Moore CE, Knox K, Day NP et al. 2006. PTPN22 and invasive bacterial disease. Nat Genet, 38 (5), pp. 499-500. | Read more

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