Background. Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) plays an important role in resistance to Aspergillus infections. Previous studies have suggested that PTX3 polymorphisms influence the risk of invasive aspergillosis among transplantation recipients. This study investigated the association between PTX3 gene polymorphisms and pulmonary aspergillosis in a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) population.
Methods. We included 173 consecutive inpatients with COPD. Thirty-six case patients were finally diagnosed with pulmonary aspergillosis. Among these, 25 case patients had invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA), and 11 case patients had chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA). Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; rs2305619, rs3816527, and rs1840680) in the PTX3 gene were detected by polymerase chain reaction direct sequencing, and their associations with aspergillosis were evaluated. Plasma PTX3 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results. Three SNPs were consistent with Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The recessive model for SNP rs1840680 suggests that the AA homozygote is associated with a higher risk for pulmonary aspergillosis (both IPA and CPA) in COPD patients. However, for genotypic and allele frequencies of rs2305619 and rs3816527, no association was observed. The distribution of haplotypes (rs2305619 and rs3816527) also showed no significant differences. Plasma PTX3 levels significantly increased in IPA patients. In the IPA group, the rs1840680 AA genotype subjects showed lower plasma PTX3 levels than those harboring AG and GG genotypes.
Conclusions. This study showed a significant association between PTX3 rs1840680 polymorphisms and the susceptibility of pulmonary aspergillosis in patients with COPD. Plasma PTX3 levels may be potentially used as indicators for the diagnosis of IPA in COPD patients. Keywords. innate immunity; PTX3; gene polymorphisms; pulmonary aspergillosis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).