Association and frequency of HLA-A, B and HLA-DR genes in south Tunisian patients with spondyloarthritis (SpA)

Nadia Mahfoudh, Mariam Siala, Markus Rihl, Arwa Kammoun, Faten Frikha, Hela Fourati, Mohamed Younes, Radhouane Gdoura, Lilia Gaddour, Faiza Hakim, Zouheir Bahloul, Sofien Baklouti, Naceur Bargaoui, Sleheddine Sellami, Adnene Hammami, Hafedh Makni

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The aim of this study is to investigate the association of HLA-A, B and HLA-DR gene expression and to assess an association of additional HLA antigens besides HLA-B27 in south Tunisian patients with spondyloarthritis (SpA). Eighty-five patients diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (AS, n=68) and reactive arthrithis (ReA, n=17) were selected and compared with 100 healthy controls (HC). HLA class I antigens were typed serologically using microlymphocytotoxicity technique. HLA-DRB1* alleles were studied by polymerase chain reaction amplification with sequence-specific primers. The significance of differences between patients and controls was tested by chi-square analysis. We found significantly increased frequencies of HLA-A3 (30.6%; pC=0.04; OR=2.95), HLA-B27 (62.35%; pC=4.10(-17), OR=53.55), and HLA-DRB1*15 (17.2%; pC=0.026; RR=2.58) alleles in SpA patients compared to HC. The most frequent and strongest association was observed for HLA-B27 in AS (pC=6.6 ×10(-16), OR=52.23). When AS and ReA patients were analysed separately, HLA-DRB1*15 and HLA-A3 were increased only in AS (pC=0.01, OR=2.99 and pC=0.03, OR=3.14, respectively). In ReA patients, HLA-DRB1*04 (p=0.033, pC=NS, OR=2.89) was found to be the most common allele. By analysing the HLA-B27-negative subgroup, HLA-A3 and HLA-DRB1*15 expression was found to be dependent on the presence of HLA-B27. HLA-B27 expression was higher in male (45/53; 85%) as compared to female (8/53; 15%) patients (p=0.03). Apart from HLA-B27, HLA-A3 and HLA-DRB1*15 are the MHC class I and II alleles found most frequent in Tunisian patients with AS, whereas HLA-DRB1*04 was found most frequent in ReA patients. HLA-B27 is more frequent in male than in female patients
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1073
JournalClinical rheumatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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