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Open Access Research article

Genetic variants in IL1A and IL1B contribute to the susceptibility to 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza A virus

Yingxia Liu1, Shaoyuan Li2, Guoliang Zhang1, Guang Nie1, Zhizhong Meng3, Dongting Mao2, Chang Chen2, Xinchun Chen1, Boping Zhou1 and Gucheng Zeng2*

Author Affiliations

1 Guangdong Key Laboratory for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Shenzhen Third People’s Hospital, Guangdong Medical College, Shenzhen, China

2 Department of Microbiology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Key Laboratory for Tropical Diseases Control of the Ministry of Education, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

3 School of Bioscience and Bioengineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China

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BMC Immunology 2013, 14:37  doi:10.1186/1471-2172-14-37

Published: 8 August 2013



Host genetic variations may contribute to disease susceptibility of influenza. IL-1A and IL-1B are important inflammatory cytokines that mediate the inflammation and initiate the immune response against virus infection. In this study, we investigated the relationship between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of Interleukin-1A (IL-1A) and Interleukin-1B (IL-1B) and the susceptibility to 2009 pandemic A/H1N1 influenza (A(H1N1)pdm09). 167 patients whom were confirmed with A(H1N1)pdm09 and 192 healthy controls were included in this study. Four SNPs (rs1304037, rs16347, rs17561, rs2071373) in IL1A gene and three SNPs (rs1143623, rs3917345, rs1143627) in IL1B gene were genotyped by using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry platform, and the associations of the genetic variants of IL-1 with susceptibility to A(H1N1)pdm09 were then assessed.


The polymorphisms of rs17561 in IL1A gene and rs1143627 in IL1B gene were found to be associated with susceptibility to A(H1N1)pdm09 with P values of 0.003 (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.27-3.41) and 0.002 (OR 1.62 , 95% CI 1.20-2.18), respectively. However, no significant difference in allelic frequency was observed for other SNPs between cases and controls.


This study provides a new insight into pathogenesis of A(H1N1)pdm09, suggesting that genetic variants of IL-1A and IL-1B may exert a substantial impact on the susceptibility of A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infection.

Interleukin-1; H1N1; Influenza; Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)