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Recurrent respiratory viral diseases and chronic sequelae due to dominant negative IFIH1

By Christin L Deal, Timothy J Thauland, Rebecca Signer, Stanley F Nelson, Undiagnosed Diseases Network, Hane Lee, Manish J. Butte

Posted 06 Jul 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.01.20105379

Viral respiratory infections are the most common childhood infection worldwide. However, even common pathogens can have significant consequences in the context of patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases. More than half or viral infections annually are due to rhinovirus/enterovirus strains. Most clinical manifestations of viral infection are mild. However 3% of cases result in hospitalization in patients who have no other known risk factors. These patients may have an inborn error of immunity, a genetic susceptibility to viral infections. Here we present the case of an adult male who suffered respiratory viral infections his whole life and developed chronic, inflammatory damage to sinuses and lungs as a consequence. Genomic sequencing identified compound heterozygous variants in the IFIH1 gene, encoding the protein Melanoma Differentiation Association Protein 5 (MDA5), a RIG-I-like cytoplasmic sensor of RNA intracellular infections. We show a dominant negative effect on these variants on the level of interferon-induced expression of MDA5 protein. This work supports that loss-of-function variants in IFIH1 affect the sensing of viral infections. Underlying genomic variants may dictate the point at which recurrent, respiratory viral infections leave commonplace experience and incur lasting damage.

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