It has been suggested that genes other than CFTR could modulate the severity of lung disease in cystic fibrosis (CF). Neutrophil Fcgamma receptor II (FcgammaRII) is involved in host defense against microorganisms and in inflammatory response. We evaluated the association between genetic variability of this gene and both airway infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and severity of lung disease in patients with CF. We studied 167 Italian unrelated patients with CF and 50 control subjects. The distribution of FcgammaRIIA genotypes in CF patients was compared with that in control subjects and the different genotypes were related with the presence or absence of P. aeruginosa infection and markers of disease severity in CF patients. The distribution of FcgammaRIIA genotypes was not significantly different between CF patients and controls. We observed that in CF patients with the same CFTR genotype (DeltaF508/DeltaF508), those carrying the R allele of FcgammaRIIA had an increased risk of acquiring chronic P. aeruginosa infection (P=0.042, R.R.: 4.38; 95% CI: 1.17/22.4). Moreover, the frequency of R/R genotype in patients with chronic P. aeruginosa infection seems to be higher than that of control subjects and patients without chronic infection. The observation that CF patients carrying the R allele of FcgammaRIIA are at higher risk of acquiring chronic P. aeruginosa infection suggests that the FcgammaRII loci genetic variation is contributing to this infection susceptibility.
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