BPF Genetics of ILD Study


The investigators aim to examine the genetic determinants of interstitial lung disease in a cohort of subjects with regular exposure to pigeons, a known cause of one form of interstitial lung disease known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis. The investigators hope the investigator's work will provide insights of use to clinicians and patients with hypersensitivity pneumonitis and other interstitial lung diseases.

Full Title of Study: “British Pigeon Fanciers Genetics of Interstitial Lung Disease Study”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Observational [Patient Registry]
  • Study Design
    • Time Perspective: Prospective
  • Study Primary Completion Date: January 22, 2024

Detailed Description

The investigators aim to recruit participants with regular racing pigeon exposure at national (UK) and regional pigeon fancier meetings.

Consenting subjects will complete questionnaires, provide blood samples for genetic analysis and undertake lung function measurements.

Subjects will be observed, and encouraged to report referral to specialist respiratory services, and following this information will be sought on diagnosis (including supporting evidence). Where interstitial lung disease is detected this will be linked to subsequent unbiased analysis to detect potential predisposing genetic associations.


  • Diagnostic Test: Genetic profiling
    • All participating subjects will undergo detailed genetic analysis, with the aim of detecting novel genetic drivers for the development of interstitial lung disease in the context of known sensitising agent (pigeon antigen)

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Relationship of specific genetic markers to development of interstitial lung disease
    • Time Frame: 5 years
    • Participants will be screened for MUC5B genetic profile to allow examination of MUC5B genetic profile relationship with risk of developing interstitial lung disease in this group

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • regular exposure to racing pigeons

Exclusion Criteria

  • Unwilling to participate

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: 80 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • NHS Forth Valley
  • Collaborator
    • University of Leicester
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Mark Spears, Dr Mark Spears, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine – NHS Forth Valley
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Mark Spears, PhD, FRCP, Principal Investigator, NHS Forth Valley
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Mark Spears, PhD, FRCP, +44 1324566853, markspears@nhs.net

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