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TNFα gene variants and ankylosing spondylitis
  1. X Zhu,
  2. Z Yang
  1. National Institute of Geriatrics, Beijing Hospital, Ministry of Health (China), Beijing, China
  1. Professor Z Yang, National Institute of Geriatrics, Beijing Hospital, Ministry of Health (China), 1 Dahua Road, Dong Dan, Beijing 100730, China; yangze016{at}yahoo.com.cn

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Professor M A Brown came up with some concerns with our recently published paper.1 Our answers to his concerns are as follows.

We agree with Professor Brown’s opinion that the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (rs2284178) distribution in the controls is not in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) at first, and this may be as a result of inbreeding, the population structure, and/or even genotyping error. However, the control group was randomly collected and the genotyping data strictly checked by us. Therefore, we are completely able to exclude confounding factors from consanguineous mating and genotyping errors as reasons for the control group not being in HWE. The elements that produced the deviation might be population stratification and/or the small size of sample. If the genotype distribution in the control group is not in HWE, it would not be possible to get a false positive or false negative conclusion for the polymorphism of interest being significant or not. This is mainly because the sample’s genotype distribution would not represent the real genotype condition …

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