Background Genetic factors that predispose individuals to pemphigus are considered to play important roles in the development of the disease. Furthermore, population studies of patients with pemphigus have clearly shown that the most prevalent alleles differ across ethnic groups.
Objectives This controlled study was designed to detect the distribution of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and II alleles in Turkish patients with pemphigus.
Methods Sixty patients diagnosed with pemphigus according to clinical findings, histology, immunofluorescence, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were enrolled in the study. The control group consisted of 60 healthy adult transplant donors. HLA typing was carried out using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with sequence-specific primers (SSP) method.
Results The frequencies of HLAs A*11, CW*01, DRB1*04, DRB1*14, DQB1*05, and DPB1*0401 were found to be statistically significantly higher in the disease group than in controls. By contrast, the frequencies of HLAs B*18, B*50, DRB1*11, DQB1*02, DQB1*06, DPB1*0301, and DPB1*1102 were statistically significantly lower in the pemphigus group than in controls. Linkage dysequilibrium analysis showed that DRB1*14/DQB1*05, A*11/DQB1*05, and A*11/DRB1*14 alleles were detected frequently in pemphigus patients, and DRB1*11/DQB1*05, DRB1*14/DQB1*02, B*50/DQB1*02, and B*50/DPB1*0301 alleles appeared frequently in healthy controls.
Conclusions The results suggest that DRB1*04, DRB1*14, DQB1*05, and DPB1*0401 class II HLAs and A*11 and CW*01 class I HLAs are associated with pemphigus in southern Turkey. Observed differences in LD patterns between patients and controls suggest that the coexistence of the respective alleles is strongly determinant of predisposition towards (DRB1*14/DQB1*05 and A*11/DQB1*05) or protection against (B*50/DQB1*02) the disease.