Human leukocyte antigen class I region single-nucleotide polymorphisms are associated with leprosy susceptibility in Vietnam and India.
Experimental evidence suggested the existence of unidentified leprosy susceptibility loci in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex. To identify such genetic risk factors, a high-density association scan of a 1.9-mega-base (Mb) region in the HLA complex was performed. Among 682 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 59 were associated with leprosy (P <.01) in 198 Vietnamese single-case leprosy families. Genotyping of these SNPs in an independent sample of 292 Vietnamese single-case leprosy families replicated the association of 12 SNPs (P <.01). Multivariate analysis of these 12 SNPs showed that the association information could be captured by 2 intergenic HLA class I region SNPs (P = 9.4 × 10⁻⁹)-rs2394885 and rs2922997 (marginal multivariate P = 2.1 × 10⁻⁷ and P = .0016, respectively). SNP rs2394885 tagged the HLA-C*15:05 allele in the Vietnamese population. The identical associations were validated in a third sample of 364 patients with leprosy and 371 control subjects from North India. These results implicated class I alleles in leprosy pathogenesis.