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Gastroenterology. 2009 Jun;136(7):2289-94. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.01.051. Epub 2009 Jan 27.

The HLA alleles DRB1*13 and DQB1*06 are associated to Whipple's disease.

Author information

1
Immunohematology and Transfusion Centre, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Whipple's disease is a systemic, chronic, relapsing disorder caused by a combination of environmental (Tropheryma whipplei) and unknown host factors. Because it is a rare disease, the association between HLA type and Whipple's disease has been studied in only small numbers of patients; these studies have led to conflicting results. We aimed to investigate whether disease phenotype and outcome are associated with HLA type in 122 patients with Whipple's disease.

METHODS:

Genomic DNA was collected from 103 German, 11 Italian, and 8 Austrian patients with Whipple's disease, along with 62 healthy Austrian workers exposed to T whipplei (14 stool samples contained the bacterium). HLA class I and II alleles were identified by polymerase chain reaction analysis. Patient genotypes were compared with those of healthy German and Austrian populations; data for Italian controls were obtained from the Pavia HLA bone marrow donors' bank.

RESULTS:

HLA-DRB1*13 and DQB1*06 alleles occurred significantly more frequently in patients with Whipple's disease but not in healthy individuals who had been exposed to T Whipplei. The cumulative odds ratios for disease were 2.23 for the DRB1*13 allele (P < .0001) and 2.25 for the DQB1*06 allele (P < .0001).

CONCLUSIONS:

DRB1*13 and DQB1*06 alleles were found to be risk factors in the largest HLA study ever performed in patients with Whipple's disease.

PMID:
19208355
DOI:
10.1053/j.gastro.2009.01.051
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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