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Cobat A.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Cobat A.,University of Paris Descartes | Gallant C.J.,McGill University | Simkin L.,McGill University | And 14 more authors.
Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2010

Human antimycobacterial immunity is a critical component of tuberculosis (TB) pathogenesis that is often used to infer the presence of TB infection. We report high heritability (>50%) for in vitro secretion of tumor necrosis factor α and interferon γ (IFN-γ), and the frequency of antigen-specific IFN-γ +CD4 + and IFN- γ +CD8 + cells in the response of whole blood to mycobacterial challenge. In principal component analysis, the first 3 components explain 78% of the overall variance consistent with the effect of pleiotropic regulatory genes of human antimycobacterial immunity. These results directly demonstrate the pivotal role played by host genetics in quantitative measures of antimycobacterial immunity underlying immune diagnosis of TB infection. © 2010 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. Source

Gallant C.J.,McGill University | Cobat A.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Cobat A.,University of Paris Descartes | Simkin L.,McGill University | And 17 more authors.
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease | Year: 2010

SETTING: The extent of immune reactivity measured by the tuberculin skin test (TST) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) T-cell assays is usually not analysed. OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of age and sex on assay positivity and on the extent of reactivity of both TST and T-cell assays in young persons in an area of South Africa with high TB transmission. RESULTS: Age had a strong impact on assay positivity for all seven immune phenotypes tested (P < 0.0007). Among positive responders, the extent of purified protein derivative (PPD) triggered IFN-γ release (P < 0.003) was sensitive to age. ESAT-6 triggered IFN-γ release (day 7, P = 0.03) and the frequency of PPD-specific IFN-γ+CD4+ (P = 0.03) and IFN-γ+CD8+ cells (P = 0.04) were weakly dependent on age. By contrast, the extent of TST induration was insensitive to age (P > 0.05), and sex had no significant impact on any phenotype measured (P > 0.05). The high proportion of positive responders in the 1-10 year age-group observed with long-term whole blood assays, but not with 3-day assays and TST, suggests that long-term whole blood assays may be confounded by bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccination in this age group. CONCLUSION: There is a significant impact of age, but not sex, on different assays of immune reactivity in this high TB transmission setting. © 2010 The Union. Source

Alter A.,McGill University | Grant A.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Grant A.,University of Paris Descartes | Abel L.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | And 7 more authors.
Mammalian Genome | Year: 2011

Leprosy (Hansen's disease) is a human infectious disease whose etiological agent, Mycobacterium leprae, was identified by G. H. A. Hansen in the 19th century. Despite the high efficacy of multidrug therapy (<0.1% annual relapse rate), transmission is persistent. In 2008, approximately 250,000 new cases were reported to the World Health Organization. Clinically, leprosy presents as either the paucibacillary (1-5 lesions) or the multibacillary (>5 lesions) subtype, highly reflective of a Th1 (cell-mediated) or Th2 (humoral) host immune response, respectively. Subsequent to Mycobacterium leprae exposure, epidemiological studies (e.g., twin studies and complex segregation analyses) maintain the importance of host genetics in susceptibility to leprosy. The results of genome-wide analyses (linkage and association) and candidate gene studies suggest an independent genetic control over both susceptibility to leprosy per se and development of clinical subtype. Moreover, the emergence of a shared genetic background between leprosy and several inflammatory/autoimmune diseases suggests that leprosy is a suitable model for studying the genetic architecture and subsequent pathogenesis of both infectious and inflammatory/autoimmune diseases. We provide the example of NOD2 (Crohn's disease gene) and LTA (myocardial infarction gene) and the implication of a common genetic risk factor between these two diseases and leprosy. The value of leprosy as a model disease therefore extends far beyond this ancient disease to common afflictions of the 21st century. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source

Laine S.,Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research | Laine S.,McGill University | Laine S.,University of Bordeaux Segalen | Laine S.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 11 more authors.
RNA Biology | Year: 2011

RNA-based compounds are promising agents to inactivate viruses. New specific hepatitis delta virus (HDV)-derived ribozymes are natural molecules that can be engineered to specifically target a viral RNA. We have designed specific on-off adaptor (SOFA)-HDV ribozymes targeting the tat and rev sequences of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) RNA. We show that the SOFA-HDV ribozymes cleave their RNA target in vitro. They inhibit the Tat-mediated transactivation of HIV-1 from 62% to 86% in different assays. In vivo, the amount of HIV RNA was decreased by 60 and 86% with two distinct ribozymes, which indicates that the inhibition of HIV production is directly correlated to the decline in spliced and unspliced viral RNAs. These SOFA-HDV-ribozymes inhibited the expression and the viral production of four HIV-1 strains, indicating an extended potential to act on multiple HIV variants. In HE K 293T and HeLa cells transfected with pNL4-3 and the SOFA-HDV-ribozymes, the reduced RNA levels consequently decreased the Gag protein expression in the cell and virus production in the supernatant. When transfected before HIV-1 infection, the ribozymes prevented the incoming virus from being expressed. The ribozymes inhibited HIV production up to 90% when transfected in combination with the HIV protease inhibitor Atazanavir. Our results strongly suggest that SOFA-HDV ribozymes have a great potential to target HIV-1 and to be used as therapeutic agents in combination therapy. © 2011 Landes Bioscience. Source

Alter A.,McGill University | Fava V.M.,McGill University | Huong N.T.,Hospital for Dermato Venereology | Singh M.,All India Institute of Medical Sciences | And 14 more authors.
Human Genetics | Year: 2013

One of the persistent challenges of genetic association studies is the replication of genetic marker-disease associations across ethnic groups. Here, we conducted high-density association mapping of PARK2/PACRG SNPs with leprosy and identified 69 SNPs significantly associated with leprosy in 198 single-case Vietnamese leprosy families. A total of 56 associated SNPs localized to the overlapping promoter regions of PARK2/PACRG. For this region, multivariate analysis identified four SNPs belonging to two major SNP bins (rs1333955, rs7744433) and two single SNP bins (rs2023004, rs6936895) that capture the combined statistical evidence (P = 1.1 × 10-5) for association among Vietnamese patients. Next, we enrolled a case-control sample of 364 leprosy cases and 370 controls from Northern India. We genotyped all subjects for 149 SNPs that capture >80 % of the genetic variation in the Vietnamese sample and found 24 SNPs significantly associated with leprosy. Multivariate analysis identified three SNPs (rs1333955, rs9356058 and rs2023004) that capture the association with leprosy (P < 10-8). Hence, two SNPs (rs1333955 and rs2023004) were replicated by multivariate analysis between both ethnic groups. Marked differences in the linkage disequilibrium pattern explained some of the differences in univariate analysis between the two ethnic groups. In addition, the strength of association for two promoter region SNP bins was significantly stronger among young leprosy patients in the Vietnamese sample. The same trend was observed in the Indian sample, but due to the higher age-at-diagnosis of the patients the age effect was less pronounced. © 2012 Springer-Verlag. Source

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