Genetic variants associated with dengue shock syndrome are reported this week in Nature Genetics. Dengue shock syndrome, found at a higher prevalence in children with dengue fever, is a severe and life-threatening complication of the disease.
Martin Hibberd and colleagues report a genome-wide association study for dengue shock syndrome in 2,008 pediatric cases from Vietnam, with replication in an additional 1,737 cases. They identified two genomic loci associated with susceptibility to dengue shock syndrome in children with dengue. One of these is in the MHC — which contains many genes involved in immune system regulation — and suggests a possible role for natural killer and CD8+ T cell activation of the immune response. The second associated locus includes variants within PLCE1, which has also been associated with nephrotic syndrome, a kidney disorder with some shared symptoms.