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Gut. 2001 May;48(5):714-8.

Low frequency of HLA-DRB1*11 in hepatitis C virus induced end stage liver disease.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Germany.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection becomes chronic in more than 70% of patients, leading to end stage liver disease in about 20-30% of these patients. Apart from the virus itself, host factors that modulate the immune response are likely to be involved in determining the outcome of HCV infection. Studies on the association of human leucocyte antigens (HLAs) and HCV infection have shown inconsistent results. Selection of patient subgroups may be crucial. However, any association relevant to HCV disease progression will become evident, especially in those patients with end stage liver disease. Therefore, we analysed the phenotype frequencies of HLA antigens in two groups of 69 and 39 patients with HCV induced liver cirrhosis who had received a transplant or were awaiting liver transplantation. The first group was typed serologically and compared with 331 blood and liver donors. The second group, prospectively HLA typed by a polymerase chain reaction-sequence specific oligonucleotide (PCR-SSO) procedure for HLA-DRB and DQB alleles, was compared with another 170 PCR-SSO typed and randomly selected blood donors. Decreased frequencies for HLA-DR5 and HLA-DQ3 were found in one group of patients with HCV induced liver cirrhosis compared with the control groups. In the second analysis comparing 39 patients with end stage liver cirrhosis with blood donors, we confirmed the significant decrease in HLA-DRB1*11 and HLA-DQB1*03, which corresponded to serological HLA-DR5 and HLA-DQ3 antigens, respectively. Our results show that the presence of HLA-DRB1*11 and HLA-DQB1*03 alleles is associated with a reduced risk for the development of HCV induced end stage liver disease.

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