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      Identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms in Toll-like receptor candidate genes associated with tuberculosis infection in water buffalo ( Bubalus bubalis)

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          Toll-like receptors play a key role in innate immunity by recognizing pathogens and activating appropriate responses. Pathogens express several signal molecules (pathogen-associated molecular patterns, PAMPs) essential for survival and pathogenicity. Recognition of PAMPs triggers an array of anti-microbial immune responses through the induction of various inflammatory cytokines. The objective of this work was to perform a case-control study to characterize the distribution of polymorphisms in three candidate genes ( toll-like receptor 2, toll-like receptor 4, toll-like receptor 9) and to test their role as potential risk factors for tuberculosis infection in water buffalo ( Bubalus bubalis).


          The case-control study included 184 subjects, 59 of which resulted positive to both intradermal TB test and Mycobacterium bovis isolation (cases) and 125 resulted negative to at least three consecutive intradermal TB tests. The statistical analysis indicated that two polymorphisms exhibited significant differences in allelic frequencies between cases and controls. Indeed, the TT genotype at TLR9 2340 C > T locus resulted significantly associated with susceptibility to bovine tuberculosis ( P = 0.030, OR = 3.31, 95% CI = 1.05-10.40). One polymorphism resulted significantly associated with resistance to the disease, and included the CC genotype, at the TLR4 672 A > C locus ( P = 0.01, OR = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.08-0.80). Haplotype reconstruction of the TLR2 gene revealed one haplotype (CTTACCAGCGGCCAGTCCC) associated with disease resistance ( P = 0.04, OR = 0.51, 95% CI = 0.27–0.96), including the allelic variant associated with disease resistance.


          The work describes novel mutations in bubaline TLR2, TLR4 and TLR9 genes and presents their association with M. bovis infection. These results will enhance our ability to determine the risk of developing the disease by improving the knowledge of the immune mechanisms involved in host response to mycobacterial infection, and will allow the creation of multiple layers of disease resistance in herds by selective breeding.

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          Most cited references 42

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          A new statistical method for haplotype reconstruction from population data.

          Current routine genotyping methods typically do not provide haplotype information, which is essential for many analyses of fine-scale molecular-genetics data. Haplotypes can be obtained, at considerable cost, experimentally or (partially) through genotyping of additional family members. Alternatively, a statistical method can be used to infer phase and to reconstruct haplotypes. We present a new statistical method, applicable to genotype data at linked loci from a population sample, that improves substantially on current algorithms; often, error rates are reduced by > 50%, relative to its nearest competitor. Furthermore, our algorithm performs well in absolute terms, suggesting that reconstructing haplotypes experimentally or by genotyping additional family members may be an inefficient use of resources.
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            BioEdit: a user-friendly biological sequence alignment editor and analysis program for Windows 95/98/NT.

             T., HALL,  T.A HALL,  TA HALL (1999)
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              Defective LPS signaling in C3H/HeJ and C57BL/10ScCr mice: mutations in Tlr4 gene.

              Mutations of the gene Lps selectively impede lipopolysaccharide (LPS) signal transduction in C3H/HeJ and C57BL/10ScCr mice, rendering them resistant to endotoxin yet highly susceptible to Gram-negative infection. The codominant Lpsd allele of C3H/HeJ mice was shown to correspond to a missense mutation in the third exon of the Toll-like receptor-4 gene (Tlr4), predicted to replace proline with histidine at position 712 of the polypeptide chain. C57BL/10ScCr mice are homozygous for a null mutation of Tlr4. Thus, the mammalian Tlr4 protein has been adapted primarily to subserve the recognition of LPS and presumably transduces the LPS signal across the plasma membrane. Destructive mutations of Tlr4 predispose to the development of Gram-negative sepsis, leaving most aspects of immune function intact.

                Author and article information

                BMC Genet
                BMC Genet
                BMC Genetics
                BioMed Central (London )
                14 December 2014
                14 December 2014
                : 15
                : 1
                [ ]Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Mezzogiorno, Via Salute, 2, 80055, Portici, Italy
                [ ]Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte Liguria e Valle d’Aosta, Via Bologna, 148, 10154 Torino, Italy
                [ ]Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria e Sicurezza Alimentare, Viale Regina Elena, 299, 00161 Roma, Italy
                [ ]Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Via Università 100, 80055 Portici, Italy
                © Alfano et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2014

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Research Article
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                © The Author(s) 2014


                bubalus bubalis, tlrs, genetic resistance, case–control study


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