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Diversity and Frequencies of HLA Class I and Class II Genes of an East African Population

DOI: 10.4236/ojgen.2014.42013, PP. 99-124

Keywords: HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, HLA-DPA1, HLA-DPB1, HLA-DQA1, HLA-DQB1, HLA-DRB1, HLA Frequencies, HLA Class I, HLA Class II, East African

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Abstract:

Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLAs) play an important role in host immune responses to infectious pathogens, and influence organ transplantation, cancer and autoimmune diseases. In this study we conducted a high resolution, sequence-based genotyping of HLA class I and class II genes of more than 2000 women from Kenya, eastern Tanzania and southern Uganda around Lake Victoria and analyzed their allele, phenotype and haplotype frequencies. A considerable genetic diversity was observed at both class I and II loci. A total of 79 HLA-A, 113 HLA-B, 53 HLA-C, 25 HLA-DPA1, 60 HLA-DPB1, 15 HLA-DQA1, 44 HLA-DQB1 and 38 HLA-DRB1 alleles have been identified. The most common class I alleles were A * 02:01:01 (10.90%), B * 58:02 (8.79%), and C * 06:02:01 (16.98%). The most common class II alleles were DPA1*01:03:01 (40.60%), DPB1 * 01:01:01 (23.45%), DQA1 * 01:02:01 (31.03%), DQB1 * 03:01:01 (21.79%), DRB1 * 11:01:02 (11.65%), DRB3 * 02:02:01 (31.65%), DRB4 * 01:01:01 (10.50%), and DRB5 * 01:01:01 (10.50%). Higher than expected homozygosity was observed at HLA-B (P = 0.022), DQA1 (P = 0.004), DQB1 (P = 0.023), and DRB1 (P = 0.0006) loci. The allele frequency distribution of this population is very similar to the ones observed in other sub-Saharan populations with the exception of lower frequencies of A * 23 (5.55% versus 11.21%) and DQA1 * 03 (4.79% versus 11.72%), and higher frequencies of DPB1 * 30 (2.26% versus 0.37%) and DRB1 * 11 (21.51% versus 15.89%). The knowledge of the diversity and allele/ phenotype frequencies of the HLA alleles of this east African population, can contribute to the understanding of how host genetic factors influence disease susceptibility and effective anti-retroviral treatment of HIV infections and future vaccine trials.

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