Risk of nontyphoidal Salmonella bacteraemia in African children is modified by STAT4

James J. Gilchrist, Anna Rautanen, Benjamin P. Fairfax, Tara C. Mills, Vivek Naranbhai, Holly Trochet, Matti Pirinen, Esther Muthumbi, Salim Mwarumba, Patricia Njuguna, Neema Mturi, Chisomo L. Msefula, Esther N. Gondwe, Jenny M. MacLennan, Stephen J. Chapman, Malcolm E. Molyneux, Julian C. Knight, Chris C.A. Spencer, Thomas N. Williams, Calman A. MacLennanJ. Anthony G. Scott, Adrian V.S. Hill

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) is a major cause of bacteraemia in Africa. The disease typically affects HIV-infected individuals and young children, causing substantial morbidity and mortality. Here we present a genome-wide association study (180 cases, 2677 controls) and replication analysis of NTS bacteraemia in Kenyan and Malawian children. We identify a locus in STAT4, rs13390936, associated with NTS bacteraemia. rs13390936 is a context-specific expression quantitative trait locus for STAT4 RNA expression, and individuals carrying the NTS-risk genotype demonstrate decreased interferon-γ (IFNγ) production in stimulated natural killer cells, and decreased circulating IFNγ concentrations during acute NTS bacteraemia. The NTS-risk allele at rs13390936 is associated with protection against a range of autoimmune diseases. These data implicate interleukin-12-dependent IFNγ-mediated immunity as a determinant of invasive NTS disease in African children, and highlight the shared genetic architecture of infectious and autoimmune disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1014
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

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