Systematic Review and Meta-analysis: Gene Association Studies in Neonatal Sepsis

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Abstract

Background

Association studies of various gene variants in neonatal sepsis show conflicting results.

Objective

We performed a systematic review of candidate gene association studies in neonatal sepsis to provide pooled estimates of risk for selected gene variants.

Methods

We performed a search using MeSH terms “infection,” “sepsis,” “infant,” “genetic variation,” “polymorphism,” and “genetic association studies.” We included studies evaluating associations between neonatal sepsis and genetic variants (2000-2015). We excluded case reports/series, commentaries, narrative reviews, and nonhuman research. We assessed quality of studies using STREGA guidelines. Following estimation of odds ratios (ORs), data were pooled using random effects models.

Results

Twenty eight of 1,404 identified studies were included. Meta-analyses were performed for interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and IL-10 as these gene variants were tested in multiple studies. TNF-α 308GG genotype demonstrated trends toward increased sepsis risk in the primary analysis of culture-proven sepsis (OR 1.18, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.97-1.44). IL-10 1082GG genotype was associated with lower sepsis odds in very low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.29-0.91).

Conclusion

We uncovered an association between IL-10 1082 gene variation and sepsis in VLBW infants but did not identify associations between neonatal sepsis and TNF-α 308 or IL-6 gene variation. Larger cohort replication studies are required to validate these findings.

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