Polymorphism N248S in the human Toll-like receptor 1 gene is related to leprosy and leprosy reactions.
We investigated the association between a polymorphism of a key innate immunity receptor, Toll-like receptor 1 (TLR1) N248S, and susceptibility to leprosy and its clinical presentation. TLR1 N248S has been shown elsewhere to diminish TLR1 signaling and subsequent leprosy disease. The homozygous genotype SS was more frequent (P=.012) and the heterozygous SN genotype was less frequent (P=.015) in patients with leprosy than in control subjects. Additional observed differences in allelic frequency in patients who experienced reversal reactions and/or erythema nodosum leprosum reactions indicates that altered TLR1 function, or at least a TLR1 N248S-linked trait, may affect the progression from infection to disease as well as the disease course and the risk of debilitating reactional episodes in this population.