Association of human leukocyte antigen polymorphism with outcomes of hepatitis B virus infection
Host genetic and environmental factors are viewed as a common basis of the different outcomes of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) plays an important role in immunological reaction to HBV infection. In this study, we aimed to determine the association between HBV infection and HLA-A, B, and DRB1 alleles in northern Iran. HLA-A, B, and DRB1 alleles in 33 patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and 31 healthy carriers as the persistent group, and 30 subjects who had spontaneously recovered from HBV infection were analyzed by using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-sequence-specific primer (PCR-SSP) technique. The frequency of the HLA-A*33 allele was higher in the persistent group than in the recovered group (10.16% vs 0%, P < 0.008); the frequency of the DRB1*13 allele was lower in the persistent group than in the recovered group (3.13% vs 11.67%, P < 0.03). The frequency of the B*52 allele was higher in CHB patients than healthy carriers (7.58% vs 0%, P < 0.05). The logistic regression model showed that the presence of the HLA-DRB1*13 allele was the significant factor associated with protection against the persistency of HBV. There were significant differences between the HBV recovered group, CHB patients, and healthy carriers regarding age, hepatitis B e antigen, and anti-hepatitis B e positivity. HLA-A*33 was closely related with susceptibility to persisting hepatitis B infection, and HLA-DRB1*13 was closely related with protection against persisting hepatitis B in an Iranian population. These findings emphasized that the host HLA polymorphism is an important factor in determining the outcome of HBV infection.