Preeclampsia: A Multifactorial Disease Resulting from the Interaction of the Feto-maternal HLA Genotype and HCMV Infection


Zulay Layrisse Centro de Medicina Experimental, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas, Kilometro 11 Carretera Panamericana, Apartado 21827, Caracas 1020a, Venezuela.


PROBLEM: To clarify the possible influence of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) mother–child genotypes and human cytomegalo virus (HCMV) presence on the development of preeclampsia.

METHODS OF STUDY: One hundred and four DNA samples from mothers with preeclampsia, mothers with a normal history of pregnancies and their neonates were tested by polymerase chain reaction–sequence specific oligonucleotide probes (PCR–SSOP) for HLA-A, -G, -DRB1, -DQA1, -DQB1 alleles. The HCMV sequences were analyzed using a PCR–SSOP method and the four primers described by Chou (Chou S: J Clin Microb 1992; 30:2307–2310).

RESULTS: Compared with their respective controls, a significant increase of DRB1*07 among neonates (Pc=0.05) and of DRB1*07 and/or DRB1*06 among pre-eclamptic mothers (Pc=0.003, RR=8,5) was found. When HCMV sequences were detected in pre-eclamptic mothers carrying those phenotypes the RR increased up to 40. Furthermore, the fetal inheritance of a maternal HLA-G*0104 increased the risk for the appearance of the disease (RR=30; P=0.025).

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that the presence of alleles HLA-G*0104, DRB1*07/06, HCMV sequences and the fetal inheritance of maternal G*0104, should be considered as conditioning factors for the development of preeclampsia.