Human leukocyte antigens in forms of leprosy among Japanese patients.
Human leukocyte antigens (HLA) class II alleles were analyzed among Japanese leprosy patients to ascertain whether immunogenetic differences exist among the leprosy classification forms of Ridley and Jopling. Ninety-three unrelated Japanese leprosy patients (21 lepromatous, 24 borderline lepromatous, 17 mid-borderline, 26 borderline tuberculoid, 5 tuberculoid) and 114 healthy control subjects were investigated. The frequencies of HLA-DRB1*1501, -DRB5*0101, -DQA1*0102 and DQB1*0602 were significantly increased in all of the Japanese leprosy patients. The frequencies of HLA-DRB1*0405, -DQA1*03 and -DQB1*0401 were significantly decreased in the Japanese patients after correction of the p value. Conversely, there were no significantly different distributions of the HLA-DRB1, -DRB5, -DQA1, DQB1 alleles in the five subgroups of these patients. We conclude that HLA class II alleles were not associated with the form of leprosy. Other HLA, a non-HLA gene, and/or environmental factors may play a critical role in the different manifestations of leprosy.