Dr Sebastien Viatte

Research Fellow

Arthritis Research UK Epidemiology Unit
Center for Musculoskeletal Research
Institute of Inflammation and Repair
The University of Manchester
Manchester Academic Health Science Center
Stopford Building
Oxford Road
M13 9PT



Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease affecting around 1% of the population in the United Kingdom. Typically, RA onset is in the fifth decade of life, but disease onset at an earlier age is frequent. RA affects mainly the small joints of hands and feet, causing pain, disability and, if not treated, joint destruction. The exact cause of the disease is not known, but it is established that the immune system of the patient is attacking  his own joints - therefore, RA is classified as an autoimmune disease.

Based on the presence or absence of antibodies called anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA), RA can be classified as ACPA+ or ACPA- disease. ACPA+ RA is usually more severe than ACPA- RA, though several patients with ACPA+ RA have a milder disease course, while  several patients with ACPA- RA have a more severe disease course. Therefore, ACPA cannot be used predict for sure which patients will develop a disabling disease and should be treated more aggressively at disease onset.

Identifying genetic markers of rheumatoid arthritis severity:

One of my research focus consists of identifying genetic polymorphisms (=small differences in genes between patients) which would allow rheumatologists to predict which patients will go on and develop a severe disease course in the future. Several genetic markers predisposing healthy individuals to develop RA have been identified so far, but it is not clear if and how those susceptibility polymorphisms affect disease course. I am therefore testing RA susceptibility polymorphisms for their association with disease severity and I am trying to identify new markers of disease severity, which would be different to the markers of RA susceptibility.

Studying the genetic differences between two different types of rheumatoid arthritis:

Most genetic studies which identified susceptibility markers for RA have been performed in patients' groups comprising a vast majority of ACPA+ patients. Therefore, little is known on the genetics of ACPA- RA. Another focus of interest consists of comparing the genetic markers of ACPA+ RA with those of ACPA- RA and of identifying new genetic markers of ACPA- RA. 



  • Ling, S., Viatte, S., Lunt, M., Alper M. Van Sijl , Silva-Fernandez, L., Symmons, D., ... Barton, A. (2016). HLA-DRB1 amino acid positions 11/13, 71 and 74 predict inflammation level, disease activity and disability in patients with inflammatory polyarthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatology. DOI:10.1002/art.39780. Publication link: e86d5ff4-659e-45dd-b3e0-66a8bb080cc6
  • Viatte, S., James C. Lee, Fu, B., Marion Espéli, Lunt, M., Jack N.E. De Wolf, ... Kenneth G.C. Smith (2016). Genetic variation in FOXO3 is associated with reductions in inflammation and disease activity in inflammatory polyarthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatology. DOI:10.1002/art.39760. Publication link: f3abbe39-b4cc-4a3e-8f8c-bf13fd01008f
  • Viatte, S., Massey, J., Bowes, J., Duffus, K., arcOGEN Consortium, Eyre, S., ... Worthington, J. (2016). Replication of genetic loci outside the HLA conferring susceptibility to anti-CCP negative rheumatoid arthritis.Arthritis & Rheumatology, 68(7), 1160-6. DOI:10.1002/art.39619. Publication link: a8ee9dec-8f02-4f3b-b46f-3586ea069ab9 | PubMed:26895230
  • Wei, W., Bowes, J., Plant, D., Viatte, S., Yarwood, A., Massey, J., ... Eyre, S. (2016). Major histocompatibility complex harbors widespread genotypic variability of 2 non-additive risk of rheumatoid arthritis including epistasis. Scientific Reports, 6, [25014]. DOI:10.1038/srep25014. Publication link: 70c6b9a5-135b-4a46-be16-f435a0c466e2
  • Yarwood, A., Viatte, S., Okada, Y., Plenge, R., Yamamoto, K., BRAGGSS, ... Eyre, S. (2016). Loci associated with N-glycosylation of human IgG are not associated with rheumatoid arthritis: A Mendelian randomisation study.Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 75(1), 317-20. DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-207210. Publication link: f39db358-92a0-480d-9c12-58d39222cb06


  • Plant, D., Humphreys, J., Verstappen, S., Symmons, D., Viatte, S., Barton, A., ... Marshall, T. (2015). Association of chemokine CXC ligand 12 gene polymorphism (rs1746048) with cardiovascular mortality in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: results from the Norfolk Arthritis Register. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 74(11), 2099-2102. DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-207851. Publication link: fb442f49-2db6-4048-9c62-487069f1827a
  • Schuetz, P., Leuppi, J. D., Bingisser, R., Bodmer, M., Briel, M., Drescher, T., ... Rutishauser, J. (2015). Prospective analysis of adrenal function in patients with acute exacerbations of COPD: The REDUCE* trial (*Reduction in the Use of Corticosteroids in Exacerbated COPD).European journal of endocrinology / European Federation of Endocrine Societies. DOI:10.1530/EJE-15-0182. Publication link: 3668ecdc-bdf4-43f7-9333-f8526e67cd5e | PubMed:25855628
  • Viatte, S., Plant, D., Han, B., Fu, B., Yarwood, A., Thomson, W., ... Barton, A. (2015). Association of HLA-DRB1 haplotypes with rheumatoid arthritis severity, mortality, and treatment response.JAMA, 313(16), 1645-1656. DOI:10.1001/jama.2015.3435. Publication link: b882366e-0899-4461-9fbe-e64430a95f28 | PubMed:25919528


  • Nogueira, L., Cornillet, M., Singwe-Ngandeu, M., Viatte, S., Bas, S., Gabay, C., & Serre, G. (2014). In Black Africans with rheumatoid arthritis, ACPA recognize citrullinated fibrinogen and the derived peptides α36-50Cit38,42 and β60-74Cit60,72,74, like in Caucasians. Clinical Immunology, 152(1-2), 58-64. DOI:10.1016/j.clim.2014.02.011. Publication link: b9f462b1-ad13-483c-a3f9-b522008840eb | PubMed:24589748
  • Orozco, G., Viatte, S., Bowes, J., Martin, P., Wilson, A. G., Morgan, A. W., ... Eyre, S. (2014). Novel rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility locus at 22q12 identified in an extended UK genome-wide association study. Arthritis and Rheumatology, 66(1), 24-30. DOI:10.1002/art.38196. Publication link: 5965ac24-2933-4c73-982f-e5eadf9525a3 | PubMed:24114500
  • Viatte, S., Yarwood, A., McAllister, K., Al-Mudhaffer, S., Fu, B., Flynn, E., ... Duffus, K. (2014). The role of genetic polymorphisms regulating vitamin D levels in rheumatoid arthritis outcome: A Mendelian randomisation approach. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 73(7), 1430-1433. DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204972. Publication link: baeae829-7410-464d-80c6-0762bb078036 | PubMed:24651622
  • Yarwood, A., Viatte, S., Plant, D., Morgan, A. W., Isaacs, J., Wilson, A. G., ... Barton, A. (2014). Testing the role of vitamin D in response to antitumour necrosis factor α therapy in a UK cohort: A Mendelian randomisation approach. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 73(5), 938-940. DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204443. Publication link: b9655eac-b757-4f30-93a2-677429d9aa74 | PubMed:24323394


  • Duffus, K., McAllister, K., Yarwood, A., Bowes, J., Orozco, G., Viatte, S., ... Eyre, S. (2013). Brief report: Identification of BACH2 and RAD51B as rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility loci in a meta-analysis of genome-wide data. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 65(12), 3058-3062. DOI:10.1002/art.38183. Publication link: 83494893-5a06-44fb-841f-1f1a429f8bd9 | PubMed:24022229
  • Fagerberg, T., Zoete, V., Viatte, S., Baumgaertner, P., Alves, P. M., Romero, P., ... Michielin, O. (2013). Prediction of Cross-Recognition of Peptide-HLA A2 by Melan-A-Specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes Using Three-Dimensional Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships. PLoS ONE, 8(7), [e65590]. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0065590. Publication link: 73635fa2-a46f-4f03-b0e7-37f2e32c2afb | PubMed:23874382
  • Lee, J. C., Espéli, M., Anderson, C. A., Linterman, M. A., Pocock, J. M., Williams, N. J., ... Newman, W. (2013). Human SNP links differential outcomes in inflammatory and infectious disease to a FOXO3-regulated pathway. Cell, 155(1), 57-69. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2013.08.034. Publication link: ba7a093d-d238-4feb-a567-3511f0131639 | PubMed:24035192
  • Leuppi, J. D., Schuetz, P., Bingisser, R., Bodmer, M., Briel, M., Drescher, T., ... Rutishauser, J. (2013). Short-term vs conventional glucocorticoid therapy in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: The REDUCE randomized clinical trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 309(21), 2223-2231. DOI:10.1001/jama.2013.5023. Publication link: ecdb2029-add9-4ab7-a9fa-f71869b08132 | PubMed:23695200
  • Viatte, S., Plant, D., & Raychaudhuri, S. (2013). Genetics and epigenetics of rheumatoid arthritis. Nature Reviews Rheumatology, 9(3), 141-153. DOI:10.1038/nrrheum.2012.237. Publication link: b7779ac3-8ddf-4310-81f9-a2c598d276a7 | PubMed:23381558
  • Viatte, S., Plant, D., Lunt, M., Fu, B., Flynn, E., Parker, B. J., ... Barton, A. (2013). Investigation of rheumatoid arthritis genetic susceptibility markers in the early rheumatoid arthritis study further replicates the TRAF1 association with radiological damage. Journal of Rheumatology, 40(2), 144-156. DOI:10.3899/jrheum.121034. Publication link: 10dce566-c9e9-44ee-9f69-81be1432e1c2 | PubMed:23242182


  • Burr, M. L., Viatte, S., Bukhari, M., Plant, D., Symmons, D. P., Thomson, W., & Barton, A. (2012). Long-term stability of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody status in patients with early inflammatory polyarthritis. Arthritis Research and Therapy, 14(3), [R109]. DOI:10.1186/ar3834. Publication link: 44caec15-b45a-446a-a8d0-05a02b6b6374 | PubMed:22571727
  • Eyre, S., Bowes, J., Diogo, D., Lee, A., Barton, A., Martin, P., ... Worthington, J. (2012). High-density genetic mapping identifies new susceptibility loci for rheumatoid arthritis. Nature Genetics, 44(12), 1336-1340. DOI:10.1038/ng.2462. Publication link: f95007e0-762f-48be-8710-a327444e68c8 | PubMed:23143596
  • Genevay, S., Finckh, A., Zufferey, P., Viatte, S., Balagué, F., & Gabay, C. (2012). Adalimumab in acute sciatica reduces the long-term need for surgery: A 3-year follow-up of a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 71(4), 560-562. DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-200373. Publication link: 48da8be9-1b1d-49dc-be5e-79398b7c8d15 | PubMed:21998121
  • Viatte, S., & Barton, A. (2012). The role of rheumatoid arthritis genetic susceptibility markers in the prediction of erosive disease. European Musculoskeletal Review, 7(2), 102-107. . Publication link: b9dd3b10-ddf6-434c-8306-21b3194c953f
  • Viatte, S., Flynn, E., Lunt, M., Barnes, J., Singwe-Ngandeu, M., Bas, S., ... Gabay, C. (2012). Investigation of Caucasian rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility loci in African patients with the same disease. Arthritis Research and Therapy, 14(6), [R239]. DOI:10.1186/ar4082. Publication link: 5a9490cb-4829-41ae-b229-6624b767df76 | PubMed:23121884
  • Viatte, S., Plant, D., Bowes, J., Lunt, M., Eyre, S., Barton, A., & Worthington, J. (2012). Genetic markers of rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility in anti-citrullinated peptide antibody negative patients. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 71(12), 1984-1990. DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-201225. Publication link: 7097921d-1059-4bcf-b53b-700d14229400 | PubMed:22661644



  • Palmer, G., Talabot-Ayer, D., Lamacchia, C., Toy, D., Seemayer, C. A., Viatte, S., ... Gabay, C. (2009). Inhibition of interleukin-33 signaling attenuates the severity of experimental arthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 60(3), 738-749. DOI:10.1002/art.24305. Publication link: 93621dd1-16b7-494d-b59e-d026a80488fd | PubMed:19248109
  • Viatte, S., Bas, S., Neff, L., Vuillet, M., Spenato, U., Guerne, P. A., ... Gabay, C. (2009). Relationship between gammainterferon and interleukin-17 in Chlamydia trachomatis reactive arthritis. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 27(5), 885-886. . Publication link: 1bd4f2d9-145f-40a3-b2b0-ecd9aba94121


  • Alves, P. M. S., Lévy, N., Stevenson, B. J., Bouzourene, H., Theiler, G., Bricard, G., ... Lévy, F. (2008). Identification of tumor-associated antigens by large-scale analysis of genes expressed in human colorectal cancer. Cancer Immunity, 8, [11]. . Publication link: bd97ca89-dc29-48d3-ae93-6854c62cd0a5 | PubMed:18581998


  • Alves, P. M. S., Viatte, S., Fagerberg, T., Michielin, O., Bricard, G., Bouzourene, H., ... Romero, P. (2007). Immunogenicity of the carcinoembryonic antigen derived peptide 694 in HLA-A2 healthy donors and colorectal carcinoma patients. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy, 56(11), 1795-1805. DOI:10.1007/s00262-007-0323-2. Publication link: 168f2716-4487-4dba-9149-5d02d5bccb93 | PubMed:17447064
  • Viatte, S., Alves, P. M. S., Lévy, N., Bouzourene, H., Viatte, S., Bricard, G., ... Lévy, F. (2007). Molecular and immunological evaluation of the expression of cancer/testis gene products in human colorectal cancer. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy, 56(6), 839-847. DOI:10.1007/s00262-006-0228-5. Publication link: 0cff1295-d848-457b-9495-50507d4139cb | PubMed:16960690
  • Viatte, S., Waeber, G., & Vollenweider, P. (2007). Effets secondaires méconnus des glucocorticoïdes: Prévention et traitement spécifiques requis?. Revue Medicale Suisse, 3(131), 2472-2477. . Publication link: 715f0b32-26dc-4450-98f1-48937ef57d48 | PubMed:18069404



  • Miklos, D. B., Kim, H. T., Zorn, E., Hochberg, E. P., Guo, L., Mattes-Ritz, A., ... Ritz, J. (2004). Antibody response to DBY minor histocompatibility antigen is induced after allogeneic stem cell transplantation and in healthy female donors. Blood, 103(1), 353-359. DOI:10.1182/blood-2003-03-0984. Publication link: 7f0fa1d5-9924-450d-809e-97da7e0c918b | PubMed:14512314