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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 104, No. 2, 2009, pp. 162-169
Bioline Code: oc09029
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 104, No. 2, 2009, pp. 162-169

 en Host genetic and epigenetic factors in toxoplasmosis
Jamieson, Sarra E.; Cordell, Heather; Petersen, Eskild; McLeod, Rima; Gilbert, Ruth E. & Blackwell, Jenefer M.

Abstract

Analysing human genetic variation provides a powerful tool in understanding risk factors for disease. Toxoplasma gondii acquired by the mother can be transmitted to the fetus. Infants with the most severe clinical signs in brain and eye are those infected early in pregnancy when fetal immunity is least well developed. Genetic analysis could provide unique insight into events in utero that are otherwise difficult to determine. We tested the hypothesis that propensity for T. gondii to cause eye disease is associated with genes previously implicated in congenital or juvenile onset ocular disease. Using mother-child pairs from Europe (EMSCOT) and child/parent trios from North America (NCCCTS), we demonstrated that ocular and brain disease in congenital toxoplasmosis associate with polymorphisms in ABCA4 encoding ATP-binding cassette transporter, subfamily A, member 4 previously associated with juvenile onset retinal dystrophies including Stargardt’s disease. Polymorphisms at COL2A1 encoding type II collagen, previously associated with Stickler syndrome, associated only with ocular disease in congenital toxoplasmosis. Experimental studies showed that both ABCA4 and COL2A1 show isoform-specific epigenetic modifications consistent with imprinting, which provided an explanation for the patterns of inheritance observed. These genetic and epigenetic risk factors provide unique insight into molecular pathways in the pathogenesis of disease.

Keywords
congenital infection - toxoplasmosis - genetics - epigenetics

 
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