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Genetic polymorphisms in toll-like receptors 1, 2, and 4 in feline upper respiratory tract aspergillosis.

  • Whitney, J1
  • Haase, B2
  • Beatty, J3
  • Barrs, V R3
  • 1 Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Australia)
  • 2 Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 3 Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia; Marie Bashir Institute of Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. , (Australia)
Published Article
Veterinary immunology and immunopathology
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2019.109921
PMID: 31446071


Fungal species in the genus Aspergillus are environmental saprophytes that can act as opportunistic pathogens of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses in humans, cats and other species. Upper respiratory tract aspergillosis (URTA) presents as non-invasive and invasive forms with the latter occurring almost exclusively in immunocompromised hosts. However, in domestic cats, invasive URTA affects apparently immunocompetent patients. A defect in innate immunity has been proposed as a predisposing factor in invasive feline URTA. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in pattern recognition receptor genes have been implicated in the pathogenesis of aspergillosis in humans. The aims of this study were to identify non-synonymous SNPs in the coding regions of toll-like receptors involved in the immune response to Aspergillus spp. and to compare the frequency of these SNPs between affected and control cats. The coding and flanking regions of TLR1, TLR2 and TLR4 were sequenced in 14 cats with URTA and the sequences were compared with those in 20 control cats without aspergillosis. In total, 23 non-synonymous SNPs were identified in TLR1 (n = 11), TLR2 (n = 3) and TLR4 (n = 10). Differences in allelic frequency of non-synonymous SNPs between affected and controls were not identified either within breeds or overall or between non-invasive and invasive disease phenotypes. Although allelic frequency differed between cat breeds that are overrepresented for URTA and underrepresented breeds there was no association differences identified between affected cats and underrepresented breeds. The difference in allelic frequency of an INDEL point mutation identified in intron 1 of TLR4, between cats with non-invasive versus invasive aspergillosis approached significance (p = 0.054). While results from this study do not support a role for non-synonymous SNPs in the pathogenesis of feline URTA they do provide evidence that investigation for polymorphisms in non-coding regions of these genes and in other pattern recognition receptors are warranted. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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