Food allergy is defined as an immune response that occurs reproducibly to a given food, typically an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated clinical reaction to specific protein epitopes. Over the last 20-30 years, food allergy has grown into a major public health problem. Peanut allergy is a common type of food allergy that accounts for a disproportionate number of fatal and near-fatal anaphylactic events amongst all the common food allergens.
A large new GWAS within a pre-existing food allergy cohort recently discovered two specific genetic associations with peanut allergy for the first time. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs9275596, which is intergenic between the HLA-DQB1 and HLA-DQA2 genes, was found to affect DNA methylation, while SNP rs7192 confers a Leu242Val change in the HLA-DRA gene product.
Within Vanderbilt's BioVU and Synthetic Derivative database, our group found a suggestive association that HLA-DQB1*05:02 (p=0.07, OR 1.25) correlated with increased risk of peanut allergy and HLA A*68 (p=0.10, OR 0.70) correlated with decreased risk.
A more large scale study is ongoing.
***We are making this algorithm available for collaboration.***