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S. Keijser, M.J. Jager, R.J. de Keizer, P.H. Nibbering; Lactoferrin Glu561Asp Polymorphism Is Involved in Susceptibility to Herpes Simplex Keratitis . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):1289.
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As a first step in our programme to establish the genetic basis of the susceptibility to infections to the eye and of the severity thereof, this study focused on the possible involvement of lactoferrin gene polymorphisms in herpes simplex virus (HSV) keratitis. Lactoferrin, which exerts antimicrobial (including anti–HSV) and anti–inflammatory activities, plays an important role in the defense against infections to the eye.
Lactoferrin gene polymorphisms in DNA from 86 HSV keratitis patients and 145 control subjects were determined by PCR combined with restriction fragment length analysis. Bilateral tear samples were harvested from 50 patients and 40 healthy controls and the tear lactoferrin concentrations were determined by an ELISA. Patients’ records were used to acquire information about the clinical aspects of the HSV keratitis.
The frequencies of the Glu561, and Asp561 alleles, but not those of the Ala11Thr and Lys29Arg polymorphisms, were significantly different between patients and control subjects with an under–representation of the Asp561 allele in the patient group. Furthermore, the values for visual acuity, frequency of recurrences since onset, and average duration of the corneal defect did not differ among patients with the various lactoferrin genotypes. In addition, tear lactoferrin concentrations were the same in patients with HSV keratitis and healthy controls and also did not differ among patients with the various lactoferrin genotypes.
Lactoferrin Glu561Asp polymorphisms are involved in the susceptibility to HSV keratitis with a protective role for lactoferrin variants comprising Asp561. However, no beneficial effects of this lactoferrin variant on the clinical course of an ocular HSV keratitis were noted.
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