An African perspective on the genetic risk of chronic kidney disease: a systematic review

Journal Article


Journal Title

BMC Medical Genetics

Journal ISSN
Volume Title

BioMed Central


University of Cape Town

Background Individuals of African ethnicity are disproportionately burdened with chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, despite the genetic link, genetic association studies of CKD in African populations are lacking. Methods We conducted a systematic review to critically evaluate the existing studies on CKD genetic risk inferred by polymorphism(s) amongst African populations in Africa. The study followed the HuGE handbook and PRISMA protocol. We included studies reporting on the association of polymorphism(s) with prevalent CKD, end-stage renaldisease (ESRD) or CKD-associated traits. Given the very few studies investigating the effects of the same single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on CKD risk, a narrative synthesis of the evidence was conducted. Results A total of 30 polymorphisms in 11 genes were investigated for their association with CKD, ESRD or related traits, all using the candidate-gene approach. Of all the included genes, MYH9, AT1R and MTHFR genes failed to predict CKD or related traits, while variants in the APOL1, apoE, eNOS, XPD, XRCC1, renalase, ADIPOQ, and CCR2 genes were associated with CKD or other related traits. Two SNPs (rs73885319, rs60910145) and haplotypes (G-A-G; G1; G2) of the apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene were studied in more than one population group, with similar association with prevalent CKD observed. The remaining polymorphisms were investigated in single studies. Conclusion According to this systematic review, there is currently insufficient evidence of the specific polymorphisms that poses African populations at an increased risk of CKD. Large-scale genetic studies are warranted to better understand susceptibility polymorphisms, specific to African populations.