Duplication in CHIT1 gene and the risk for aspergillus lung disease in CF patients

Galit Livnat, Ronen Bar-Yoseph, Adi Mory, Efrat Dagan, Nael Elias, Ruth Gershoni, Lea Bentur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Aspergillus often persists in the respiratory tract of patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and may cause allergic broncho-pulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). Chitinases are enzymes that digest the chitin polymer. Plants use chitinase as a defense mechanism against fungi. Chitotriosidase (CHIT1) is the major chitinase in human airways. Variation in the coding region with 24-bp duplication allele results in reduced CHIT1 activity. Recently, CHIT1 duplication heterozygocity was found in 6/6 patients with severe asthma and fungal sensitization (SAFS). Aim Our aim was to evaluate the link between CHIT1 duplication in CF patients and the predisposition to Allergic broncho-pulmonary mycosis (ABPM) or persistent Aspergillus positive sputum (APS). Patients and Methods CHIT1 duplication was assessed in three CF groups. Group 1: patients who had neither ABPM nor APS in the past (control group). Group 2: patients with persistent APS (≥2/year), without ABPA. Group 3: patients with current or past ABPM. Results Forty patients with CF were included in the analysis, CHIT1 duplication heterozygocity was found in 3/6 (50%) of the patients in the ABPM group, 3/12 (25%) in the APS group, and 7/22 (31.8%) in the control group (P > 0.05). Eleven patients carried W1282X mutation, 90.9% were negative for CHIT1 duplication, five of them were homozygous for W1282X; none of them had CHIT1 duplication or ABPM. Conclusions CHIT1 duplication is not found in all CF patients with ABPM in contrast to patients with SAFS. These results suggest that CHIT1 duplication cannot be the sole explanation for Aspergillus positive sputum in CF patients. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2014; 49:21-27.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Aspergillus
  • CF
  • CHIT1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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