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Keywords:

  • allele;
  • chronic hepatitis;
  • genotype;
  • hepatitis B virus;
  • polymorphism

Abstract

Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II molecules are associated with host immune responses against hepatitis B virus infection. Male gender is the apparent host factor when someone encounters with the severity of hepatitis. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of the most polymorphic HLA class II allele, human leukocyte antigen—DRB1, with the severity of hepatitis in male carriers of hepatitis B virus. In this prospective cohort study, a total of 204 carriers of hepatitis B virus (131 men and 73 women) who have been followed-up for more than 1 year at the outpatient clinic of a university hospital were collected consecutively. Fifty carriers of hepatitis B virus (group I) with alanine aminotransferase <2× upper limit of normal (mean follow-up 83.6 months) were compared with 154 chronic hepatitis B patients (group II) with alanine aminotransferase ≥2× upper limit of normal (mean follow-up 81.3 months). Alleles of HLA-DRB1 were typed by the polymerase chain reaction—sequence specific oligonucleotide probe hybridization and genotypes of hepatitis B virus by melting curve analysis. HLA-DRB1*1101 was found in 18% of group I versus 8% of group II in male carriers (OR 0.23, P = 0.020, after adjustment for age) and 4% versus 9.4% in female carriers (P = 0.094). In male carriers harboring DRB1*1101, the distribution of hepatitis B viral genotype was comparable between the two groups. HLA-DRB1*1101 correlates with less severe hepatitis in Taiwanese male carriers of hepatitis B virus. J. Med. Virol. 81:588–593, 2009 © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.