Genetic Variants in Genes of the Inflammatory Response in Association with Infective Endocarditis


Inflammation in infective endocarditis (IE) is a complex network including interactions of inflammatory cytokines and other components of host response. Certainly, any variation in this network could influence susceptibility or disease progression of IE. In this study, 14 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in genes coding for interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, interleukin-10, toll–like receptor-4, tumor necrosis factor-α, selectin E and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 were analyzed for an association with susceptibility to IE and correlated with disease-related laboratory parameters. Furthermore, the occurrence of SNVs was examined to elucidate pathogen-dependent associations.

Methods and Results

The distribution of SNVs was determined in IE-patients and healthy blood donors by RFLP analysis. White blood cells (WBC) were counted using flow cytometry, concentration of C-reactive protein and procalcitonin was measured immunologically. Interleukin-6 c.471+870G>A genotypes differed significantly between IE patients and controls. The frequency of the heterozygote genotype GA was considerably higher in the patient group (68.9% vs. 43.8%, Pc<0.0003). Interleukin-6 c.-237 minor allele frequency was increased in patients, although not statistically significant. Additionally, we detected a potential relation between interleukin-1β c.315C>T and IE. Pathogen-dependent analysis showed no significantly associated subgroup in relation to IE susceptibility, but gave hints towards alterations regarding Enterococcus-caused IE cases. Patients with genotype selectin-E c.-19 GT tend to have higher preoperative WBC counts than patients with genotype GG. We further showed an association between two interleukin-1β SNVs and laboratory biomarkers.


This study shows genetic predispositions for the establishment of IE. Furthermore, correlation of SNVs with disease-related biomarkers suggests a role of genetic variants regarding the inflammatory response in IE.