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Association of a common dog leucocyte antigen class II haplotype with canine primary immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia


Dr Lorna Kennedy
Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical
University of Manchester
Stopford Building, Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PT
Tel: 44 161-275-7316
Fax: 44 161-275-1617


Immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA) is the commonest immune-mediated disease of the dog, representing a major health concern to this species. The aim of this investigation was to determine whether genetic susceptibility to IMHA is associated with genes of the canine major histocompatibility complex (MHC; dog leucocyte antigen system, DLA). Samples were collected from 108 dogs with primary idiopathic, Coombs’ positive IMHA. This diseased population was subdivided on the basis of Coombs’ test results into two groups: 1) dogs with dominant warm-reactive immunoglobulin (Ig) G haemagglutinins and (2) dogs with an additional or dominant cold-reactive IgM haemagglutinin. The DLA class II alleles and haplotypes of the diseased population were characterised, and these data were compared with those derived from a breed-matched control cohort and a much larger group of DLA-typed dogs. Two haplotypes were increased in the patient group: DLA-DRB1*00601/DQA1*005011/DQB1*00701 (in the group with warm-reactive IgG haemagglutinins only) and DLA-DRB1*015/DQA1*00601/DQB1*00301 (in both groups, but more so in the group with cold-reactive IgM haemagglutinins). One haplotype, DLA-DRB1*001/DQA1*00101/DQB1*00201, was decreased in the total patient group, but this decrease was limited to the warm-reactive IgG haemagglutinins group, and it was actually increased in the cold-reactive IgM haemagglutinins group. A second haplotype, DLA-DRB1*015/DQA1*00601/DQB1*02301, was also decreased in the total patient group, and this decrease was found in both subgroups. In addition, all haplotypes carrying DLA-DRB1*001 were significantly increased in the cold-reactive IgM haemagglutinins group. When the overall patient group was divided on the basis of individual breeds with more than six animals represented, each of the haplotypes could be shown to be implicated in one of the breeds. Thus, it was apparent that different breeds had different MHC associations with canine IMHA, which is similar to the observation that different human ethnic groups can have different HLA associations with the same immune-mediated disease.