Publications by authors named "Alex Mentzer"

9 Publications

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Host genetics and infectious disease: new tools, insights and translational opportunities.

Nat Rev Genet 2021 03 4;22(3):137-153. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Understanding how human genetics influence infectious disease susceptibility offers the opportunity for new insights into pathogenesis, potential drug targets, risk stratification, response to therapy and vaccination. As new infectious diseases continue to emerge, together with growing levels of antimicrobial resistance and an increasing awareness of substantial differences between populations in genetic associations, the need for such work is expanding. In this Review, we illustrate how our understanding of the host-pathogen relationship is advancing through holistic approaches, describing current strategies to investigate the role of host genetic variation in established and emerging infections, including COVID-19, the need for wider application to diverse global populations mirroring the burden of disease, the impact of pathogen and vector genetic diversity and a broad array of immune and inflammation phenotypes that can be mapped as traits in health and disease. Insights from study of inborn errors of immunity and multi-omics profiling together with developments in analytical methods are further advancing our knowledge of this important area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41576-020-00297-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7716795PMC
March 2021

Reduced Ebola vaccine responses in CMV+ young adults is associated with expansion of CD57+KLRG1+ T cells.

J Exp Med 2020 07;217(7)

The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

CMV is associated with immunosenescence and reduced vaccine responses in the elderly (>70 yr). However, the impact of CMV in young adults is less clear. In this study, healthy UK and Senegalese adults aged 18-50 yr (average, 29 yr) were vaccinated with the Ebola vaccine candidate chimpanzee adenovirus type 3-vectored Ebola Zaire vaccine (ChAd3-EBO-Z) and boosted with modified vaccinia Ankara Ebola Zaire-vectored (MVA-EBO-Z) vaccine. CMV carriage was associated with an expansion of phenotypically senescent CD4+ and CD8+ T cells expressing CD57 and killer cell lectin-like receptor G1 (KLRG1), which was negatively associated with vaccine responses in both cohorts. Ebola-specific T cell responses induced by vaccination also contained significantly increased frequencies of terminally differentiated CD57+KLRG1+ cells in CMV seropositive (CMV+) individuals. This study suggests that CMV can also affect vaccine responses in younger adults and may have a particularly marked impact in many developing countries where CMV seroprevalence is almost universal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20200004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7336307PMC
July 2020

Uganda Genome Resource Enables Insights into Population History and Genomic Discovery in Africa.

Cell 2019 10;179(4):984-1002.e36

Wellcome Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.

Genomic studies in African populations provide unique opportunities to understand disease etiology, human diversity, and population history. In the largest study of its kind, comprising genome-wide data from 6,400 individuals and whole-genome sequences from 1,978 individuals from rural Uganda, we find evidence of geographically correlated fine-scale population substructure. Historically, the ancestry of modern Ugandans was best represented by a mixture of ancient East African pastoralists. We demonstrate the value of the largest sequence panel from Africa to date as an imputation resource. Examining 34 cardiometabolic traits, we show systematic differences in trait heritability between European and African populations, probably reflecting the differential impact of genes and environment. In a multi-trait pan-African GWAS of up to 14,126 individuals, we identify novel loci associated with anthropometric, hematological, lipid, and glycemic traits. We find that several functionally important signals are driven by Africa-specific variants, highlighting the value of studying diverse populations across the region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.10.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7202134PMC
October 2019

Report from the Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIR) component of the 17th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop.

Hum Immunol 2018 Dec 12;79(12):825-833. Epub 2018 Oct 12.

Histocompatibility, Centro de Transfusión de la Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.

The goals of the KIR component of the 17th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop (IHIW) were to encourage and educate researchers to begin analyzing KIR at allelic resolution, and to survey the nature and extent of KIR allelic diversity across human populations. To represent worldwide diversity, we analyzed 1269 individuals from ten populations, focusing on the most polymorphic KIR genes, which express receptors having three immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains (KIR3DL1/S1, KIR3DL2 and KIR3DL3). We identified 13 novel alleles of KIR3DL1/S1, 13 of KIR3DL2 and 18 of KIR3DL3. Previously identified alleles, corresponding to 33 alleles of KIR3DL1/S1, 38 of KIR3DL2, and 43 of KIR3DL3, represented over 90% of the observed allele frequencies for these genes. In total we observed 37 KIR3DL1/S1 allotypes, 40 for KIR3DL2 and 44 for KIR3DL3. As KIR allotype diversity can affect NK cell function, this demonstrates potential for high functional diversity worldwide. Allelic variation further diversifies KIR haplotypes. We determined KIR3DL3 ∼ KIR3DL1/S1 ∼ KIR3DL2 haplotypes from five of the studied populations, and observed multiple population-specific haplotypes in each. This included 234 distinct haplotypes in European Americans, 191 in Ugandans, 35 in Papuans, 95 in Egyptians and 86 in Spanish populations. For another 35 populations, encompassing 642,105 individuals we focused on KIR3DL2 and identified another 375 novel alleles, with approximately half of them observed in more than one individual. The KIR allelic level data gathered from this project represents the most comprehensive summary of global KIR allelic diversity to date, and continued analysis will improve understanding of KIR allelic polymorphism in global populations. Further, the wealth of new data gathered in the course of this workshop component highlights the value of collaborative, community-based efforts in immunogenetics research, exemplified by the IHIW.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humimm.2018.10.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6322681PMC
December 2018

Optimizing the use of thiopurines in inflammatory bowel disease.

Ther Adv Chronic Dis 2015 May;6(3):138-46

Guy's & St Thomas' Hospitals - Gastroenterology, London, UK.

Immunomodulator drugs, of which thiopurines can be considered the backbone, are widely used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. They have been shown to be highly effective and safe; however, a significant proportion of patients are deemed to have a poor response or suffer adverse reactions. Knowing how to monitor and optimize thiopurine therapy in these scenarios is crucial to effective management. We discuss the metabolism of thiopurines, the use of enzyme/metabolite testing to guide treatment, as well as strategies to circumvent toxicity and side effects, such as allopurinol coprescription. The indications, use in pregnancy, safety profile and duration of thiopurine therapy are also discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2040622315579063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4416969PMC
May 2015

A mass in the liver.

BMJ 2013 Apr 3;346:f2036. Epub 2013 Apr 3.

Department of Infectious Disease, Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust, London NW3 2QG, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2036DOI Listing
April 2013

Is it all cerebral toxoplasmosis?

Lancet 2012 Jan;379(9812):286

Department of GU/HIV Medicine, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61579-1DOI Listing
January 2012

Experience with anti-TNF-α therapy for orofacial granulomatosis.

J Oral Pathol Med 2011 Jan;40(1):14-9

Department of Gastroenterology, Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London, London, UK.

Background: Orofacial granulomatosis (OFG) can be challenging to treat and experience with anti-TNF-α therapy is limited. We report our experience with infliximab (IFX) and adalimumab (ADA) for OFG in 14 patients, the largest reported series to date.

Methods: A review of patients receiving induction and maintenance IFX for OFG +/- Crohn's disease (CD) for active oral disease failing other therapies was performed. Clinical response defined by global physician assessment, aided by oral disease activity scores, was assessed at 2 months, 1 and 2 years. ADA was considered for patients failing IFX. Adverse events were recorded. Predictors of need for anti-TNF-α therapy were determined by comparison with OFG patients not requiring anti-TNF-α from our overall OFG database (n = 207).

Results: Fourteen patients (9 men) were treated with IFX [OFG only (n = 7), OFG with CD (n = 7)]. Nine patients received concomitant immunosuppression. Median duration of treatment was 18 months. Shortterm response was achieved in 10/14 (71%) patients. Eight of 14 (57%) and 4/12 (33%) patients remained responsive at 1 and 2 years, respectively. Two patients who failed IFX responded to ADA. Factors predicting need for anti-TNF-α therapy were oral sulcal involvement, intestinal CD and a raised C-reactive protein (CRP). Oral sulcal involvement predicted response at 1 and 2 years. Intestinal CD did not predict response. The only significant adverse event was an IFX infusion reaction.

Conclusion: IFX provided good short-term response for most OFG patients; however, a significant proportion lost response long term. Adverse events were uncommon. Patients failing IFX may respond to ADA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0714.2010.00976.xDOI Listing
January 2011

Genome-wide association study of CNVs in 16,000 cases of eight common diseases and 3,000 shared controls.

Nature 2010 Apr;464(7289):713-20

Copy number variants (CNVs) account for a major proportion of human genetic polymorphism and have been predicted to have an important role in genetic susceptibility to common disease. To address this we undertook a large, direct genome-wide study of association between CNVs and eight common human diseases. Using a purpose-designed array we typed approximately 19,000 individuals into distinct copy-number classes at 3,432 polymorphic CNVs, including an estimated approximately 50% of all common CNVs larger than 500 base pairs. We identified several biological artefacts that lead to false-positive associations, including systematic CNV differences between DNAs derived from blood and cell lines. Association testing and follow-up replication analyses confirmed three loci where CNVs were associated with disease-IRGM for Crohn's disease, HLA for Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes, and TSPAN8 for type 2 diabetes-although in each case the locus had previously been identified in single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based studies, reflecting our observation that most common CNVs that are well-typed on our array are well tagged by SNPs and so have been indirectly explored through SNP studies. We conclude that common CNVs that can be typed on existing platforms are unlikely to contribute greatly to the genetic basis of common human diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature08979DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892339PMC
April 2010