Polygenic prediction of atopic dermatitis improves with atopic training and filaggrin factors

Christopher H. Arehart, Michelle Daya, Monica Campbell, Meher Preethi Boorgula, Nicholas Rafaels, Sameer Chavan, Gloria David, Jon Hanifin, Mark K. Slifka, Richard L. Gallo, Tissa Hata, Lynda C. Schneider, Amy S. Paller, Peck Y. Ong, Jonathan M. Spergel, Emma Guttman-Yassky, Donald Y.M. Leung, Lisa A. Beck, Christopher R. Gignoux, Rasika A. MathiasKathleen C. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: While numerous genetic loci associated with atopic dermatitis (AD) have been discovered, to date, work leveraging the combined burden of AD risk variants across the genome to predict disease risk has been limited. Objectives: This study aims to determine whether polygenic risk scores (PRSs) relying on genetic determinants for AD provide useful predictions for disease occurrence and severity. It also explicitly tests the value of including genome-wide association studies of related allergic phenotypes and known FLG loss-of-function (LOF) variants. Methods: AD PRSs were constructed for 1619 European American individuals from the Atopic Dermatitis Research Network using an AD training dataset and an atopic training dataset including AD, childhood onset asthma, and general allergy. Additionally, whole genome sequencing data were used to explore genetic scoring specific to FLG LOF mutations. Results: Genetic scores derived from the AD-only genome-wide association studies were predictive of AD cases (PRSAD: odds ratio [OR], 1.70; 95% CI, 1.49-1.93). Accuracy was first improved when PRSs were built off the larger atopy genome-wide association studies (PRSAD+: OR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.89-2.47) and further improved when including FLG LOF mutations (PRSAD++: OR, 3.23; 95% CI, 2.57-4.07). Importantly, while all 3 PRSs correlated with AD severity, the best prediction was from PRSAD++, which distinguished individuals with severe AD from control subjects with OR of 3.86 (95% CI, 2.77-5.36). Conclusions: This study demonstrates how PRSs for AD that include genetic determinants across atopic phenotypes and FLG LOF variants may be a promising tool for identifying individuals at high risk for developing disease and specifically severe disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Atopic dermatitis
  • allergic disease
  • atopic march
  • disease prediction
  • filaggrin
  • genetic architecture
  • genetic predisposition
  • polygenic risk score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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