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Bacterial non-necrotizing erysipelas and cellulitis are often recurring, diffusely spreading infections of the skin and subcutaneous tissues caused most commonly by streptococci. Host genetic factors influence infection susceptibility but no extensive studies on the genetic determinants of human erysipelas exist. We performed genome-wide linkage with the 10,000 variant Human Mapping Array (HMA10K) array on 52 Finnish families with multiple erysipelas cases followed by microsatellite fine mapping of suggestive linkage peaks. A scan with the HMA250K array was subsequently performed with a subset of cases and controls. Significant linkage was found at 9q34 (nonparametric multipoint linkage score (NPL(all)) 3.84, p=0.026), which is syntenic to a quantitative trait locus for susceptibility to group A streptococci infections on chromosome 2 in mouse. Sequencing of candidate genes in the 9q34 region did not conclusively associate any to erysipelas/cellulitis susceptibility. Suggestive linkage (NPL(all)>3.0) was found at three loci: 3q22-24, 21q22, and 22q13. A subsequent denser genome scan with the HMA250K array supported the 3q22 locus, in which several SNPs in the promoter of AGTR1 (Angiotensin II receptor type I) suggestively associated with erysipelas/cellulitis susceptibility. Specific host genetic factors may cause erysipelas/cellulitis susceptibility in humans.


Katariina Hannula-Jouppi, Satu Massinen, Tuula Siljander, Siru Mäkelä, Katja Kivinen, Rasko Leinonen, Hong Jiao, Päivi Aitos, Matti Karppelin, Jaana Vuopio, Jaana Syrjänen, Juha Kere. Genetic susceptibility to non-necrotizing erysipelas/cellulitis. PloS one. 2013;8(2):e56225

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PMID: 23437094

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