−295 T-to-C promoter region IL-16 gene polymorphism is associated with Whipple’s disease

F. Biagi, A. Schiepatti, C. Badulli, I. Sbarsi, L. Trotta, G. E. Feurle, C. Müller, V. Moos, T. Schneider, T. Marth, M. De Amici, M. Martinetti, G. R. Corazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whipple’s disease (WD) is a rare systemic condition caused, in genetically predisposed subjects, by Tropheryma whipplei, a common bacterium widespread in the environment. The relevance of genetic predisposition in WD is shown by the association with HLA alleles DRB1*13 and DQB1*06 and by the demonstration that, in patients with WD, the cytokine genetic profile is skewed toward a Th2 and Treg response. Since IL-16 is involved in hampering the development of a protective macrophagic response against Tropheryma whipplei, we investigated whether the genetic background of IL-16 is different between patients with WD and controls. The −295 T-to-C polymorphism of the promoter region of the IL-16 gene was studied in 90 patients with WD and 152 healthy controls. Levels of serum IL-16 protein were also tested. The frequency of the wild type T allele was significantly higher in patients with WD compared to the controls (155/180 vs. 235/304; p = 0.02 for the Chi2 test), odds ratio 1.82 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.07–3.10]. The TT genotype was found in 65/90 patients with WD and 88/152 controls (p = 0.026). No relationship was found between serum levels of IL-16 and genotypes. Although the functional consequences of this genetic background on levels of IL-16 and on the course of the disease are still unknown, we found, for the first time, that the wild type T allele and the TT genotype of the −295 polymorphism are associated with WD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1919-1921
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 8 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of '−295 T-to-C promoter region IL-16 gene polymorphism is associated with Whipple’s disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this