OBJECTIVE: Here, we sought to investigate whether genetic polymorphisms at IL13 are associated with the development of challenge-proven IgE-mediated food allergy.
METHOD: We genotyped nine IL13 "tag" single nucleotide polymorphisms (tag SNPs) in 367 challenge-proven food allergic cases, 199 food-sensitized tolerant cases and 156 non-food allergic controls from the HealthNuts study. 12-month-old infants were phenotyped using open oral food challenges. SNPs were tested using Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test adjusted for ancestry strata. A replication study was conducted in an independent, co-located sample of four paediatric cohorts consisting of 203 food allergic cases and 330 non-food allergic controls. Replication sample phenotypes were defined by clinical history of reactivity, 95% PPV or challenge, and IL13 genotyping was performed.
RESULTS: IL13 rs1295686 was associated with challenge-proven food allergy in the discovery sample (P=.003; OR=1.75; CI=1.20-2.53). This association was also detected in the replication sample (P=.03, OR=1.37, CI=1.03-1.82) and further supported by a meta-analysis (P=.0006, OR=1.50). However, we cannot rule out an association with food sensitization. Carriage of the rs1295686 variant A allele was also associated with elevated total plasma IgE.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELAVANCE: We show for the first time, in two independent cohorts, that IL13 polymorphism rs1295686 (in complete linkage disequilibrium with functional variant rs20541) is associated with challenge-proven food allergy.