Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) is an autoimmune disease affecting the heart-valve endocardium in its final stage. Although rare in developing countries, ARF persists in third-world countries, particularly Senegal, where rheumatic heart diseases (RHDs) are the most common pediatric cardiovascular pathology. This study aimed to investigate mutations in MT-CYB
in ARF and RHD in Senegalese patients. MT-CYB
was amplified from blood samples from ARF patients at the Clinical of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery of Fann National University Hospital Centre, Dakar, Senegal (control group, healthy individuals) and sequenced. More than half of the MT-CYB
mutations (58.23%) were heteroplasmic. Transitions (61.67%) were more frequent than transversions (38.33%), and non-synonymous substitutions represented 38.33% of mutations. Unoperated RHD patients harbored frequent MT-CYB
polymorphisms (7.14 ± 14.70 mutations per sample) and accounted for 72.73% of mutations. Paradoxically, subjects undergoing valvular replacement harbored infrequent polymorphisms (1.39 ± 2.97 mutations per patient) and lacked 36 mutations present in unoperated subjects. A genetic differentiation was observed between these two populations, and the mutations in operated subjects were neutral, while those in unoperated subjects were under positive selection. These results indicate a narrow link (perhaps even causal) between MT-CYB
mutations and ARF and its complications (i.e., RHDs) and that these mutations are largely deleterious.
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