Fortova et al.
Genetic polymorphisms in innate immunity genes influence predisposition to tick-borne encephalitis.
J Neurovirol. Published online October 28, 2023. doi:10.1007/s13365-023-01182-8

Age and immune status are among the most important host factors determining the severity of TBE, e.g., older adults are more susceptible to more severe forms of TBE. There is increasing evidence that host genetic factors can play a role in determining predisposition to clinically manifest TBE and to varying degrees of severity. Animal models of TBE have identified several candidate genes that can influence survival after TBE infection. It has been shown that in humans, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of components of the innate immune response are associated with the predisposition to TBE. Such genetic determinants may greatly differ between different populations.

A study has been carried out in the Czech Republic to analyze selected SNPs in two genes coding for proteins of the innate immune system: the Interferon Induced Protein with Tetratricopeptide Repeats 2 (IFITI-1) and the Retinoic acid-inducible gene 1 (RIG-1). These analyses were done in patients with different clinical forms of TBE compared to healthy blood donors.

It was found that SNPs in the IFITI and the RIG-1-encoding genes are associated with the predisposition to TBE in the Czech population. Genes associated with the innate immune system may have a major impact on overall susceptibility to clinically manifest TBE virus infections.

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