Distribution of the HLA class II frequency alleles in patients with leprosy from the mid-west of Brazil.
In an attempt to clarify the issue of genetic predisposition to leprosy, we examined the distribution of class II human leucocyte antigen variants (DR and DQ) in 70 patients from around the city of Goiânia, Brazil. Only two of the patients presented the tuberculoid form of the disease, whereas 17 fell into the lepromatous category; 51 were intermediate. The allele frequencies found were compared with those in a group of 77 healthy controls. We found an increased frequency of the HLA-DRB1*11 allele in patients with lepromatous leprosy compared with healthy controls (P=0.0132; RR=4.130, 95% Cl: 1.338 to 12.747). These results suggest that the DRB1*11 allele could be related with susceptibility to lepromatous leprosy in Brazil.