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Open Access Research article

Association of SARS susceptibility with single nucleic acid polymorphisms of OAS1 and MxA genes: a case-control study

Jing He1, Dan Feng1, Sake J de Vlas2, Hongwei Wang1, Arnaud Fontanet3, Panhe Zhang1, Sabine Plancoulaine4, Fang Tang1, Lin Zhan1, Hong Yang1, Tianbao Wang5, Jan H Richardus2, J Dik F Habbema2 and Wuchun Cao1*

Author Affiliations

1 Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Beijing, China

2 Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

3 Emerging Diseases Epidemiology Unit, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France

4 Université René Descartes, INSERM U.550, Faculté de Médecine Necker, Paris, France

5 Beijing General Hospital of Armed Police, Beijing, China

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2006, 6:106  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-106

Published: 6 July 2006



Host genetic factors may play a role in susceptibility and resistance to SARS associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection. The study was carried out to investigate the association between the genetic polymorphisms of 2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1) gene as well as myxovirus resistance 1 (MxA) gene and susceptibility to SARS in Chinese Han population.


A hospital-based case-control study was conducted. A collective of 66 SARS cases and 64 close contact uninfected controls were enrolled in this study. End point real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and PCR-based Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) analysis were used to detect the single nucleic polymorphisms (SNPs) in OAS1 and MxA genes. Information on other factors associated with SARS infection was collected using a pre-tested questionnaire. Univariate and multivariate logistic analyses were conducted.


One polymorphism in the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of the OAS1 gene was associated with SARS infection. Compared to AA genotype, AG and GG genotypes were found associated with a protective effect on SARS infection with ORs (95% CI) of 0.42 (0.20~0.89) and 0.30 (0.09~0.97), respectively. Also, a GT genotype at position 88 in the MxA gene promoter was associated with increased susceptibility to SARS infection compared to a GG genotype (OR = 3.06, 95% CI: 1.25~7.50). The associations of AG genotype in OAS1 and GT genotype in MxA remained significant in multivariate analyses after adjusting for SARS protective measures (OR = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.14~0.98 and OR = 3.22, 95% CI: 1.13~9.18, respectively).


SNPs in the OAS1 3'-UTR and MxA promoter region appear associated with host susceptibility to SARS in Chinese Han population.