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Bacterial sensing is crucial for appropriate response by the innate and adaptive immune system against invading microorganisms. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in bacterial recognition, CARD15 and TLR4, increased the risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a New Zealand Caucasian case-control cohort. We now consider the effects of SNPs in CD14, TLR9, and BPI, analyzed individually, in association with one another, and with SNPs in CARD15 or TLR4 in this same population group. SNPs in CD14 (c.-159 C>T), TLR9 (c.-1237T>C) and BPI (c.645A>G) showed no significant allele or genotype frequency differences between IBD cases and controls. Genotype-phenotype mapping reveals an association with BPI and ileocolonic Crohn's disease (CD) as well as an association with CD14 and early-onset ulcerative colitis (UC). Genotype interaction analyses using three different statistical approaches provided significant evidence of interaction for the following combinations: CARD15/TLR4 (CD and UC), CARD15/CD14 (CD and UC), CD14/TLR4 (UC only), and CD14/BPI (UC only). A trend for an association between BPI and TLR4 was observed in UC patients, but failed to reach statistical significance. Our findings support the idea of gene-gene interactions for genes involved in closely related pathways (i.e. bacterial detection). There is evidence that carrying two SNPs in genes may lead to statistical significance for genes and SNPs that do not otherwise confirm as risk alleles for disease aetiology when analysed alone.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum immunol

Publication Date





440 - 446


Adolescent, Adult, Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides, Blood Proteins, Case-Control Studies, Child, Child, Preschool, Colitis, Ulcerative, Crohn Disease, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Lipopolysaccharide Receptors, Male, New Zealand, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Toll-Like Receptor 9, Young Adult