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Exp Clin Immunogenet. 2000;17(4):185-98.

Characteristics of HLA class I and class II polymorphisms in Rwandan women.

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Division of Geographic Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 39294-0022, USA.



To define HLA class I and class II polymorphisms in Rwandans.


PCR-based HLA genotyping techniques were used to resolve variants of HLA-A, B, and C to their 2- or 4-digit allelic specificities, and those of DRB1 and DQB1 to their 4- or 5-digit alleles.


Frequencies of 14 A, 8 C, and 14 B specificities and of 13 DRB1 and 8 DQB1 alleles were >/=0.02 in a group of 280 Rwandan women. These major HLA factors produced 6 haplotypes extending across the class I and class II regions: A*01-Cw*04-B* 4501-DRB1*1503-DQB1*0602 (A1-Cw4-B12- DR15 - DQ6), A * 01 - Cw * 04 - B * 4901 -DRB1 * 1302-DQB1*0604 (A1-Cw4-B21-DR13-DQ6), A*30 - Cw*04 - B*15 - DRB1*1101 - DQB1*0301 (A19-Cw4-B15-DR11-DQ7), A*68-Cw*07-B* 4901-DRB1*1302-DQB1*0604(A28-Cw7-B21- DR13 - DQ6), A*30 - Cw*07 - B*5703 - DRB1* 1303-DQB1*0301(A19 - Cw7 - B17 - DR13 - DQ7), and A*74-Cw*07-B*4901-DRB1*1302-DQB1* 0604 (A19-Cw7-B21-DR13-DQ6), respectively. Collectively, these extended haplotypes accounted for about 19% of the total. Other apparent class I-class II haplotypes (e.g., Cw*17-B*42-DRB1*0302-DQB1*0402, Cw*06- B*58-DRB1*1102-DQB1*0301, and Cw*03- B*15-DRB1*03011-DQB1*0201) did not extend to the telomeric HLA-A locus, and other 3-locus class I haplotypes (e.g., A*68-Cw*04-B*15, A*74-Cw*04-B*15, and A*23-Cw*07-B*4901) completely or partially failed to link with any specific class II alleles.


Frequent recombinations appeared to occur between the three evolutionarily conserved HLA blocks carrying the class I and class II loci. The HLA class I profile seen in Rwandans was not directly comparable with those known in the literature, although the class II profile appeared to resemble those in several African populations. These data provide additional evidence for the extensive genetic diversity in Africans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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