The incidence of Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) is significantly higher in African American (AA) than in European-descended populations. We used admixture mapping (AM) to test the hypothesis that genomic variations with different frequencies in European and African ancestral genomes influence susceptibility to SAB in AAs. A total of 565 adult AAs (390 cases with SAB; 175 age-matched controls) were genotyped for AM analysis. A case-only admixture score and a mixed χ 2 (1df) score (MIX) to jointly evaluate both single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and admixture association (P<5.00e-08) were computed using MIXSCORE. In addition, a permutation scheme was implemented to derive multiplicity adjusted P-values (genome-wide 0.05 significance threshold: P<9.46e-05). After empirical multiplicity adjustment, one region on chromosome 6 (52 SNPs, P=4.56e-05) in the HLA class II region was found to exhibit a genome-wide statistically significant increase in European ancestry. This region encodes genes involved in HLA-mediated immune response and these results provide additional evidence for genetic variation influencing HLA-mediated immunity, modulating susceptibility to SAB.
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