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Hum Immunol. 2002 Nov;63(11):1039-44.

HLA-DR antigen frequencies in Mexican patients with dengue virus infection: HLA-DR4 as a possible genetic resistance factor for dengue hemorrhagic fever.

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  • 1Centro de Investigaciones sobre Enfermedades Infecciosas, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pùblica, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.


The human leukocyte antigen DRB1 locus (HLA-DRB1) was typed in genomic DNA extracted from whole blood samples of 34 Mexican dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) patients and 47 dengue fever (DF) patients, by polymerase chain reaction-sequence-specific oligonucleotide reverse dot blot. HLA-DRB1*04 was negatively associated with risk of DHF (OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.11-0.85). HLA-DR4 homozygous individuals were 11.6 times less likely to develop DHF in comparison to DR4 negative persons (OR 0.08, 95% CI 0.01-0.75). After adjusting for gender and infection type by logistic regression, DR4 positive individuals were 3.6 times less likely to develop DHF than DR4 negative persons (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.12-0.66). A secondary dengue virus infection was also positively linked with DHF risk (OR 2.89, 95% CI 0.92-9.07). This data suggests that genes of the major histocompatibility complex play a major role in the susceptibility and/or resistance to develop DHF. In Mexicans, HLA-DR4 may be a genetic factor that is protective against DHF. Because HLA-DR4 has been positively selected in Latin American populations, these results may apply also to other similar ethnic groups, particularly those with high percentages of admixture with indigenous Amerindian genes.

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