Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, Al-Nahrain University, Baghdad, Iraq

2 Biotechnology Research Center, Al-Nahrain University, Baghdad, Iraq

3 Tropical-Biological Research Unit, College of Science, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq


Objective: This study aimed to investigate the association between HLA alleles and visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in a sample of Iraqi patients. Methods: A total of 30 patients were studied, in addition to 20 age, gender and ethnicity matched controls. All subjects were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction-sequence specific primers (PCR-SSP) method. Results: For HLA-class I region (A and B loci), only HLA-A*19 allele showed a significant (P = 0.031) decreased frequency in VL patients as compared with controls (13.3 vs. 45.0%), and such deviation was associated with OR and PF values of 0.19 and 0.37, respectively. At HLA-class II region, HLA-DRB1*03 and HLA-DQB1*02 alleles were significantly (P = 0.020 and 0.013, respectively) increased in VL patients (56.6 vs. 20% and 46.6 vs. 10%, respectively) as compared with controls. The OR of such two positive associations was 5.23 and 7.88, respectively, and the EF value was 0.46 and 0.41, respectively. In contrast, HLA-DRB1*02 (13.3 vs. 45.0%) and HLA-DQB1*03 (33.3 vs. 70.0%)were significantly (P = 0.031 and 0.023, respectively) decreased in patients. However, none of these differences remained significant after correcting the P value for the number of alleles tested at each locus. Conclusions: these preliminary data suggest that HLA alleles may have some role in aetiopathogenesis of VL, and this role can be in favour of susceptibility and/or protection.


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