Enrichment for Northern European-derived multiple sclerosis risk alleles in Sardinia

A. Hadjixenofontos, P. A. Gourraud, V. Bakthavachalam, L. Foco, A. Ticca, P. Bitti, R. Pastorino, L. Bernardinelli, J. L. McCauley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: The list of genomic loci associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) susceptibility outside the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in patients of Northern European (NE) ancestry has increased to 103. Despite the extraordinarily high MS prevalence in the isolated Sardinian population, the contribution of genetic risk factors to MS in Sardinia is largely not understood. Objective: The objective of this paper is to examine the relevance of non-MHC MS susceptibility variants in Sardinia. Methods: We examined a log-additive MS-specific genetic burden score (MSGB) using 110 NE-derived risk alleles in a dataset of 75 Sardinian cases, 346 Sardinian controls and 177 cases and 1967 controls from the United States (US). Results: Sardinian cases demonstrate a heavier non-MHC MSGB load than Sardinian controls and US cases (p = 2E-06, p = 1E-06, respectively). Furthermore, Sardinian controls carry a heavier burden than US controls (p = 2E-14). Our results confirm the limited ability of the 110-SNP MSGB to predict disease status in Sardinia (AUROC = 0.629). Conclusions: Risk alleles discovered in samples of NE ancestry are relevant to MS in Sardinia. Our results suggest a general enrichment of MS susceptibility alleles in Sardinians, encouraging the pursuit of further studies of MS in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1396-1403
Number of pages8
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sardinia
  • genetic burden
  • genetic risk
  • genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Enrichment for Northern European-derived multiple sclerosis risk alleles in Sardinia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this