Background Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disorder. Its prevalence is higher in Chinese and Black populations compared to Caucasians. The prevalence of SLE in Malaysia is estimated to be 43/100,000 population.1
Objectives The objective of this study was to investigate the association between SLE with the human MHC Class I and Class II genes.
Methods A modified PCR-SSP Methodology, known as Phototyping2,3 was carried out to determine the HLA-A, -B, -DR and -DQ genes of the subjects. 50 Malays and 50 Chinese patients with SLE fulfilling the ACR criteria were recruited along with 50 Malays and Chinese age- and race-matched controls.
Results Statistical analysis showed that both the Malay and Chinese have similar results despite minor differences. HLA-A11 is associated with SLE in both races, whereas HLA-DR12 has been found to be statistically significant as protective antigen specificity. Compared to Malays, Chinese SLE patients have a higher frequency of DR2 compared to the controls. DRB1 was only seen in Malay SLE patients (OR 8.69 compared to controls). DRB1*02 and DQB1*05 was only seen in Chinese SLE patients (OR 2.41 compared to controls). Alleles negatively associated with SLE, possibly confering a protective effect are as follows: In both Malay and Chinese SLE patients, DRB1*12, DQB1*0301/4, in Malay SLE patients, DRB1*13, DRB3*0301, in Chinese SLE patients, DRB3*0201.
Conclusion These results differ from those obtained in other ethnic groups, i.e. suggesting a different disease pathogenesis.
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