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Hum Immunol. 1998 Sep;59(9):580-6.

HLA-DR and -DQ associations with melioidosis.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. sitdr@mahidol.ac.th


Melioidosis is an important infectious disease of southeast Asia caused by an intracellular bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei. Cellular immunity is postulated to play important roles in immunity to melioidosis that may influence the severity and clinical outcome of the disease. The present study was undertaken to investigate possible associations of melioidosis with HLA class II alleles. HLA typing of HLA-DRB1, -DQA1, and -DQB1 was performed using polymerase chain reaction and sequence-specific oligonucleotide hybridization (PCR-SSO). Seventy-nine melioidosis patients and 105 healthy, ethnically and geographically matched controls were studied. Among 24 DRB1 alleles, 7 DQA1 alleles, and 13 DQB1 alleles identified in this population, an association with melioidosis was observed with DRB1*1602 which was increased in melioidosis patients (10.1%) compared to normal controls (4.8%), p = 0.047 (odds ratio (OR) = 2.25). In addition, significant increase of DRB1*1602 allele frequency and decrease of DQA1*03 were also observed in septicemic melioidosis patients, the most severe form of the disease (p = 0.01, OR = 3.10; and p = 0.047, respectively). Furthermore, a trend of association of DRB1*0701, DQA1*0201, and DQB1*0201 with relapse cases of melioidosis was also noted. In contrast, no HLA association was observed in localized melioidosis or melioidosis with diabetes mellitus. These findings provide the suggestive evidence of an immunogenetic basis of certain aspects of melioidosis.

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