HLA-A, B and C and HLA-DR antigens in intrinsic and allergic asthma


Dr M. J. Morris, Department of Chest Diseases, Churchill Hospital, Oxford.


Some 103 patients with asthma and 100 healthy volunteers have been typed for HLA-A, B and C and HLA-DR antigens. The 103 patients consisted of thirty-three with intrinsic asthma, thirty-four with extrinsic asthma, and thirty-six known to have precipitins to Aspergillus fumigatus. No increase in frequency of any of the A, B, C, or DR antigens was found to be significant after correction for the number of comparisons was made. However certain trends comparable to findings in other immunopathic disorders were noted. For example B12 was increased in the allergic asthmatics (46 vs 29% controls) and it is suggested that B12 is associated with the ability to produce the IgE antibodies. A3/B7/DRw2 (which are in linkage disequilibrium) all show a decreased frequency in intrinsic asthma (24, 12 and 9%vs 32, 26 and 24% respectively in controls). Finally B8 and DRw3, which showed a moderate increase in frequency in all three groups of asthmatics, were found in five of seven patients with low atopy but persisting antibodies to A. fumigatus. Further detailed studies of these asthmatic subgroups is warranted.