A polymorphism in the catalase gene promoter confers protection against severe RSV bronchiolitis

Jeffrey M. Chambliss, Maria Ansar, John P. Kelley, Heidi Spratt, Roberto P. Garofalo, Antonella Casola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is associated with oxidative lung injury, decreased levels of antioxidant enzymes (AOEs), and the degradation of the transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2 (NRF2), a master regulator of AOE expression. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in AOE and NRF2 genes have been associated with various lung disorders. To test whether specific NRF2 and/or AOE gene SNPs in children with RSV lower respiratory tract infection were associated with disease severity, one hundred and forty one children <24 month of age with bronchiolitis were assessed for seven AOE and two NRF2 SNPs, and data were correlated with disease severity, which was determined by need of oxygen supplementation and intensive care support. One SNP in the promoter region of the catalase gene, rs1001179, which is associated with higher enzyme expression, was significantly underrepresented (p = 0.01, OR 0.38) among patients with moderate to severe RSV bronchiolitis, suggesting a protective effect against disease severity. Our results suggest that increasing catalase expression/activity could exert a protective role in the context of RSV infection and represent a potential novel therapeutic target to ameliorate viral-induced lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number, 57
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2020


  • Bronchiolitis
  • Catalase
  • Lung disease
  • Pneumovirus
  • Polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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