HLA-A and -B allele associations with secondary dengue virus infections correlate with disease severity and the infecting viral serotype in ethnic Thais


Dr Henry Stephens
Institute of Urology and Nephrology
University College London
The Middlesex Hospital
Mortimer Street
London W1N 8AA
Tel.: +44 207 955 4817
Fax: +44 207 407 6370
e-mail: h.stephens@ucl.ac.uk


Abstract: Little is known of the role of classical HLA-A and -B class I alleles in determining resistance, susceptibility, or the severity of acute viral infections. Appropriate paradigms for immunogenetic studies of acute viral infections are dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Both primary and secondary infections with dengue virus (DEN) serotypes 1, 2, 3 or 4, can result in either clinically less severe DF or the more severe DHF. In secondary exposures, a memory response is induced in immunologically primed individuals, which can both clear the infecting dengue virus and contribute to its pathology. In a case–control study of 263 ethnic Thai patients infected with either DEN-1, -2, -3 or -4, we detected HLA class I associations with secondary infections, but not in immunologically naive patients with primary infections. HLA-A*0203 was associated with the less severe DF, regardless of the secondary infecting virus serotype. By contrast, HLA-A*0207 was associated with susceptibility to the more severe DHF in patients with secondary DEN-1 and DEN-2 infections only. Conversely, HLA-B*51 was associated with the development of DHF in patients with secondary infections, and HLA-B*52 was associated with DF in patients with secondary DEN-1 and DEN-2 infections. Moreover, HLA-B44, B62, B76 and B77 also appeared to be protective against developing clinical disease after secondary dengue virus infection. These results confirm that classical HLA class I alleles are associated with the clinical outcome of exposure to dengue virus, in previously exposed and immunologically primed individuals.