Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common sexually transmitted bacterium worldwide. Its often asymptomatic course of infection increases chances of transmission, and increases risk of late complications. Genetic variations in the host immune system are known to impact the course of infections. Recent studies have shown a positive impact of vitamin D on the regulation of the immune system. This study assesses the impact of eight polymorphisms in five genes [VDR (rs1544410 G > A, rs2228570 C > T), CYP27B1 (rs10877012 G > T), DHCR7 (rs7944926 G > A, rs3829251 G > A), GC (rs3755967) and CYP2R1 (rs10741657 G > A, rs2060793 G > A)] on susceptibility to Chlamydia infections in humans. These polymorphisms could influence protein expression or function, and thus influence the immune system. Samples of women visiting the STD outpatient clinic in South Limburg were genotyped using the Roche Lightcycler 480. In this study, we did not observe statistically significant differences between the genotype distributions of these polymorphisms in women with or without a Chlamydia infection. This suggests that VDR, CYP27B1, DHCR7, GC and CYP2R1 do not affect the susceptibility to Chlamydia infections. However, due to its pleiotropic nature in the immune system a role for the vitamin D pathway may not be excluded from the whole clinical course of Chlamydia infections (e.g. late complications), and further research is required.

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Pathogens and disease

Lanjouw, E., Branković, I. (Ivan), Pleijster, J., Spaargaren, J., Hoebe, C., van Kranen, H., … Morré, S. (2016). Specific polymorphisms in the vitamin D metabolism pathway are not associated with susceptibility to Chlamydia trachomatis infection in humans. Pathogens and disease, 74(3). doi:10.1093/femspd/ftw010