There is a significant association exists between vitamin D deficiencies, low respiratory tract infections, and certain types of VDR gene polymorphism. Various studies are being conducted to prove any such link between the different clinical conditions due to disturbed vitamin D regulation and VDR gene polymorphisms. The present study analyzed the presence of vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene polymorphisms (ApaI and TaqI) in Saudi pediatric patient suffering from acute lower respiratory tract infection (ALRTI) cases. Fifty children (50) with ALRTI admitted at King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh/Saudi Arabia were included in addition to seventy-three (73) apparently healthy children who were considered as the control group. Genomic DNA from whole blood was extracted and subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting TaqI and ApaI VDR polymorphisms. RFLP–PCR genotyping was performed to determine the allelic frequency within the VDR gene. In the whole sample, the allelic frequency of ApaI polymorphism in the VDR gene was 58.5%, 17.9%, and 23.6% for AA, Aa, and aa respectively (p = 0.11), while it was 48%, 19%, and 33% for TT, Tt, and tt respectively (p = 0.33) with regards to the frequency of TaqI polymorphism in the VDR gene. VDR ApaI Aa and aa genotypes and VDR TaqI Tt and tt genotypes were not associated with increased risk of ALRTI in children (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.33–2.28, p = 0.77; OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.23–1.4, p = 0.21; OR 1.15, 95% CI 0.44–2.99, p = 0.77; OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.32–1.68, p = 0.46 respectively). To conclude, neither vitamin D status nor VDR gene polymorphisms such as ApaI and TaqI is associated with increased susceptibility to ALRTI. Linkage disequilibrium was not detected between ApaI and TaqI VDR gene polymorphisms as in the case of serum vitamin D status in ALRTI patients versus apparent healthy children.
Acute lower respiratory tract infection Gene polymorphism Saudi children Vitamin D receptor
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The authors would like to thank the Deanship of Scientific Research, and Research Center, College of pharmacy King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for assisting this study.
Somaya Al Gowhary and Nermin Hassan prepared the plan for the study and supervised the design and execution. Enas Zakaria, Amal Fatani provided the materials and kits required in the lab. Sarah and Manal facilitated the hospital communication and provided clinical data. Enas Zakaria also collected the samples and performed the laboratory work. Wael Mansy wrote the paper, Fadwa Abdel Reheem and Heba Al Awady reviewed it.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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