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Keywords:

  • HLA;
  • nomenclature;
  • sequence alignments;
  • database;
  • MHC

The IMGT/HLA Database is a specialist database for sequences of the human major histocompatibility (MHC) system. It includes all the HLA sequences officially recognised and named by the WHO Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System. The database provides users with online tools and facilities for the retrieval and analysis of these sequences. These include allele reports, alignment tools and a detailed database of all source cells. The online IMGT/HLA submission tool allows the submission of both new and confirmatory allele sequences directly to the WHO Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System. The latest version (release 1.4.1, November 1999) contains 1,015 HLA alleles from over 2,270 component sequences derived from the EMBL/GenBank/DDBJ databases. From its release in December 1998 until December 1999 the IMGT/HLA website received approximately 100,000 hits. The database currently focuses on the human major histocompatibility complex but will be used as a model system to provide specialist databases for the MHC sequences of other species.