• end-stage renal disease;
  • hepatitis C;
  • HLA

Abstract: In hepatitis C, both susceptibility to infection and the course of disease may depend on differences in the immune response. As the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a crucial role in antigen presentation, we investigated a possible relationship between susceptibility to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and human leucocyte antigen (HLA) alleles. Therefore, phenotype frequencies of HLA were compared in 186 anti-HCV positive patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) to 328 anti-HCV negative patients with ESRD. HLA class I alleles were determined serologically and HLA class II alleles (DRB1, DQA1, DQB1) by the polymerase chain reaction sequence-specific oligonucleotide (PCR-SSO) technique. Additionally, in anti-HCV positive patients we looked for a relationship between the activity of hepatitis C (indicated by elevation of transaminases or the presence of viremia) and HLA determinants. For the three criteria (antibody status, elevation of transaminases and viremia) a significant association to HLA alleles was not found in patients with ESRD. This suggests that neither susceptibility to HCV infection nor the biochemical activity of hepatitis and HCV-RNA positivity seem to be strongly related to HLA status in Caucasian patients with end-stage renal disease.