Genetic and Shared Environmental Influences on Interferon-g Production in Response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis Antigens in a Ugandan Population
Malone, LaShaunda L.
Stein, Catherine M.
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Interferon-g (IFN-g) is a key cytokine in the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Many studies established IFN-g responses are influenced by host genetics, however differed widely by the study design and heritability estimation method. We estimated heritability of IFN-g responses to Mtb culture filtrate (CF), ESAT-6, and Antigen 85B (Ag85B) in 1,104 Ugandans from a household contact study. Our method separately evaluates shared environmental and genetic variance, therefore heritability estimates were not upwardly biased, ranging from 11.6% for Ag85B to 22.9% for CF. Subset analyses of individuals with latent Mtb infection or without human immunodeficiency virus infection yielded higher heritability estimates, suggesting 10–30% of variation in IFN-g is caused by a shared environment. Immunosuppression does not negate the role of genetics on IFN-g response. These estimates are remarkably close to those reported for components of the innate immune response. These findings have implications for the interpretation of IFN-g response assays and vaccine studies.
- Medical and Health Sciences