Kawasaki disease (KD) is an acute, self-limited vasculitis, mainly affecting children younger than 5 years old, with accompanying fever and signs of mucocutaneous inflammation. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is the standard treatment for KD; however, ~15% of patients are resistant to IVIG treatment. To identify protein coding genetic variants influencing IVIG resistance, we re-analyzed our previous genome-wide association study (GWAS) data from 296 patients with KD, including 101 IVIG non-responders and 195 IVIG responders. Five nonsynonymous SNPs (nsSNPs) in five immune-related genes, including a previously reported SAMD9L nsSNP (rs10488532; p.Val266Ile), were associated with IVIG non-response (odds ratio [OR] = 1.89–3.46, P = 0.0109–0.0035). In a replication study of the four newly-identified nsSNPs, only one in the interleukin 16 (IL16) gene (rs11556218, p.Asn1147Lys) showed a trend of association with IVIG non-response (OR = 1.54, P = 0.0078). The same IL16 nsSNP was more significantly associated with IVIG non-response in combined analysis of all data (OR = 1.64, P = 1.25 × 10−4). Furthermore, risk allele combination of the IL16 CT and SAMD9L TT nsSNP genotypes exhibited a very strong effect size (OR = 9.19, P = 3.63 × 10−4). These results implicate IL16 as involved in the mechanism of IVIG resistance in KD.
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