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. 



  • Ibrahim I, Humphreys J, Mokhtar I, Marshall T, Verstappen S, Symmons D, Viatte S, Barton A, Plant D. (2015). Association of chemokine CXC ligand 12 gene polymorphism (rs1746048) with cardiovascular mortality in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: results from the Norfolk Arthritis Register. A R D, 74(11), 2099-2102. eScholarID:270635
  • Schuetz, P., Leuppi, J., Bingisser, R., Bodmer, M., Briel, M., Drescher, T., Duerring, U., Henzen, C., Leibbrandt, Y., Maier, S., Miedinger, D., Mueller, B., Scherr, A., Schindler, C., Stoeckli, R., Viatte, S., von Garnier, C., Tamm, M. & 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). Eur J Endocrinol, eScholarID:263991 | PMID:25855628 | DOI:10.1530/EJE-15-0182
  • Viatte, S., Plant, D., Han, B., Fu, B., Yarwood, A., Thomson, W., Symmons, D., Worthington, J., Young, A., Hyrich, K., Morgan, A., Wilson, A., Isaacs, J., Raychaudhuri, S. & Barton, A (2015). Association of HLA-DRB1 haplotypes with rheumatoid arthritis severity, mortality, and treatment response. JAMA, 313(16), 1645-56. eScholarID:263992 | PMID:25919528 | DOI:10.1001/jama.2015.3435
  • Yarwood, A., Viatte, S., Klareskog, L., Gregersen, P., Worthington, J., Eyre, S., Okada, Y., Plenge, R., Yamamoto, K., BRAGGSS, B., RACI, R., Barton, A., Symmons, D. & Raychaudhuri, S (2015). Loci associated with N-Glycosylation of human immunoglobulin G are not associated with rheumatoid arthritis: A Mendelian randomisation study. A R D, [Epub ahead of print], eScholarID:266978


  • 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. Clin Immunol, 152(1-2), 58-64. eScholarID:228218 | PMID:24589748 | DOI:10.1016/j.clim.2014.02.011
  • Orozco, G., Viatte, S., Bowes, J., Martin, P., Wilson, A., Morgan, A., Steer, S., Wordsworth, P., Hocking, L., UKRAG_consortium, U., WTCCC_consortium, W., BRAGGSS_consortium, B., Barton, A., Worthington, J. & Eyre, S (2014). Novel RA susceptibility locus at 22q12 identified in an extended UK genome wide association study. Arthritis Rheum, 66(1), 24-30. eScholarID:211583 | PMID:24114500 | DOI:10.1002/art.38196
  • Viatte, S., Yarwood, A., McAllister, K., Al-Mudhaffer, S., Fu, B., Flynn, E., Symmons, D., Young, A. & Barton, A (2014). The role of genetic polymorphisms regulating vitamin D levels in rheumatoid arthritis outcome: a Mendelian randomisation approach. Ann Rheum Dis, 73(7), 1430-1433. eScholarID:221940 | PMID:24651622 | DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204972
  • Yarwood,A.; Viatte S., Plant D., Morgan A.W., Isaacs J., Wilson A.G., Hyrich K., Eyre S., Barton A., Biologics_in_Rheumatoid_Arthritis_Genetics_and_Genomics. (2014). Testing the role of vitamin D in response to antitumour necrosis factor alpha therapy in a UK cohort: a Mendelian randomisation approach. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 73(5), 938-940. eScholarID:234475 | DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204443


  • Fagerberg, T., Zoete, V., Viatte, S., Baumgaertner, P., Alves, P., Romero, P., Speiser, D. & 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. eScholarID:236587 | PMID:23874382 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0065590
  • Lee, J., Espéli, M., Anderson, C., Linterman, M., Pocock, J., Williams, N., Roberts, R., Viatte, S., Fu, B., Peshu, N., Hien, T., Phu, N., Wesley, E., Edwards, C., Ahmad, T., Mansfield, J., Gearry, R., Dunstan, S., Williams, T., Barton, A., Vinuesa, C., UK_IBD_Genetics_Consortium, U., Parkes, M., Lyons, P. & Smith, K (2013). Human SNP Links Differential Outcomes in Inflammatory and Infectious Disease to a FOXO3-Regulated Pathway. Cell, 155(1), 57-69. eScholarID:209929 | PMID:24035192 | DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2013.08.034
  • Leuppi, J., Schuetz, P., Bingisser, R., Bodmer, M., Briel, M., Drescher, T., Duerring, U., Henzen, C., Leibbrandt, Y., Maier, S., Miedinger, D., Müller, B., Scherr, A., Schindler, C., Stoeckli, R., Viatte, S., von Garnier, C., Tamm, M. & Rutishauser, J (2013). Short-term vs conventional glucocorticoid therapy in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: the REDUCE randomized clinical trial. JAMA, 309(21), 2223-31. eScholarID:197083 | PMID:23695200 | DOI:10.1001/jama.2013.5023
  • McAllister, K., Yarwood, A., Morgan, A., UKRAG_Consortium, U., RACI, R., Kremer, J., Pappas, D., Gregersen, P., Klareskog, L., Plenge, R., Barton, A., Greenberg, J., Bowes, J., Worthington, J., Eyre, S., Orozco, G., Viatte, S., Diogo, D., Hocking, L., Steer, S., Wordsworth, P. & Wilson, A (2013). Brief Report: Identification of BACH2 and RAD51B as Rheumatoid Arthritis Susceptibility Loci in a Meta-Analysis of Genome-Wide Data. Arthritis Rheum, 65(12), 3058-3062. eScholarID:207513 | PMID:24022229 | DOI:10.1002/art.38183
  • Viatte, S., Plant, D. & Raychaudhuri, S (2013). Genetics and epigenetics of rheumatoid arthritis. Nat Rev Rheumatol, 9(3), 141-153. eScholarID:187682 | PMID:23381558 | DOI:10.1038/nrrheum.2012.237
  • Viatte, S., Plant, D., Lunt, M., Fu, B., Flynn, E., Parker, B., Galloway, J., Solymossy, C., Worthington, J., Symmons, D., Dixey, J., Young, A. & Barton, A (2013). Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis Genetic Susceptibility Markers in the Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Study Further Replicates the TRAF1 Association with Radiological Damage. J Rheumatol, 40(2), 144-156. eScholarID:186023 | PMID:23242182 | DOI:10.3899/jrheum.121034


  • Burr, M., Viatte, S., Bukhari, M., Plant, D., Symmons, D., Thomson, W. & Barton, A (2012). Long-term stability of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody status in patients with early inflammatory polyarthritis. Arthritis Res Ther, 14(3), R109. eScholarID:160777 | PMID:22571727 | DOI:10.1186/ar3834
  • Eyre, et al (2012). High-density genetic mapping identifies new susceptibility loci for rheumatoid arthritis. Nat Genet, 44(12), 1336-1340. eScholarID:181473 | PMID:23143596 | DOI:10.1038/ng.2462
  • 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. Ann Rheum Dis, 71(4), 560-2. eScholarID:183320 | PMID:21998121 | DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-200373
  • 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. eScholarID:197458
  • Viatte, S., Flynn, E., Lunt, M., Barnes, J., Singwe-Ngandeu, M., Bas, S., Barton, A. & Gabay, C (2012). Investigation of Caucasian rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility loci in African patients with the same disease. Arthritis Res Ther, 14(6), R239. eScholarID:181558 | PMID:23121884 | DOI:10.1186/ar4082
  • 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. Ann Rheum Dis, 71(12), 1984-1990. eScholarID:162788 | PMID:22661644 | DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-201225


  • Genevay, S., Viatte, S., Finckh, A., Zufferey, P., Balagué, F. & Gabay, C (2010). Adalimumab in severe and acute sciatica: a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum, 62(8), 2339-46. eScholarID:183318 | PMID:20506391 | DOI:10.1002/art.27499
  • Schuetz, P., Leuppi, J., Tamm, M., Briel, M., Bingisser, R., Dürring, U., Müller, B., Schindler, C., Viatte, S. & Rutishauser, J (2010). Short versus conventional term glucocorticoid therapy in acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - the "REDUCE" trial. Swiss Med Wkly, 140, w13109. eScholarID:183319 | PMID:21136333 | DOI:10.4414/smw.2010.13109


  • Palmer, G., Talabot-Ayer, D., Lamacchia, C., Toy, D., Seemayer, C., Viatte, S., Finckh, A., Smith, D. & Gabay, C (2009). Inhibition of interleukin-33 signaling attenuates the severity of experimental arthritis. Arthritis Rheum, 60(3), 738-49. eScholarID:204267 | PMID:19248109 | DOI:10.1002/art.24305
  • Bas S, Neff L, Viatte S, Vuillet M, Spenato U, Guerne PA, Michel M, Tiercy JM, Butrimiene I, Gabay C. (2009). Relationship between gammainterferon and interleukin-17 in Chlamydia trachomatis reactive arthritis. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 27(5), 885-886. eScholarID:204268


  • Alves, P., Lévy, N., Stevenson, B., Bouzourene, H., Theiler, G., Bricard, G., Viatte, S., Ayyoub, M., Vuilleumier, H., Givel, J., Rimoldi, D., Speiser, D., Jongeneel, C., Romero, P. & Lévy, F (2008). Identification of tumor-associated antigens by large-scale analysis of genes expressed in human colorectal cancer. Cancer Immun, 8, 11. eScholarID:204266 | PMID:18581998


  • Alves, P., Lévy, N., Bouzourene, H., Viatte, S., Bricard, G., Ayyoub, M., Vuilleumier, H., Givel, J., Halkic, N., Speiser, D., Romero, P. & Lévy, F (2007). Molecular and immunological evaluation of the expression of cancer/testis gene products in human colorectal cancer. Cancer Immunol Immunother, 56(6), 839-47. eScholarID:204261 | PMID:16960690 | DOI:10.1007/s00262-006-0228-5
  • Alves, P., Viatte, S., Fagerberg, T., Michielin, O., Bricard, G., Bouzourene, H., Vuilleumier, H., Kruger, T., Givel, J., Lévy, F., Speiser, D., Cerottini, J. & Romero, P (2007). Immunogenicity of the carcinoembryonic antigen derived peptide 694 in HLA-A2 healthy donors and colorectal carcinoma patients. Cancer Immunol Immunother, 56(11), 1795-805. eScholarID:204263 | PMID:17447064 | DOI:10.1007/s00262-007-0323-2
  • Viatte, S., Waeber, G. & Vollenweider, P (2007). [Some less well known side effects of glucocorticoids: specific prevention and treatment?]. Rev Med Suisse, 3(131), 2472-4, 2476-7. eScholarID:204262 | PMID:18069404


  • Viatte, S., Alves, P. & Romero, P (2006). Reverse immunology approach for the identification of CD8 T-cell-defined antigens: advantages and hurdles. Immunol Cell Biol, 84(3), 318-30. eScholarID:204265 | PMID:16681829 | DOI:10.1111/j.1440-1711.2006.01447.x


  • Miklos, D., Kim, H., Zorn, E., Hochberg, E., Guo, L., Mattes-Ritz, A., Viatte, S., Soiffer, R., Antin, J. & 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), 353-9. eScholarID:204264 | PMID:14512314 | DOI:10.1182/blood-2003-03-0984