Background Behçet disease (BD) is a system inflammatory disease mostly characterized by oral and genital ulcers and variable manifestations affecting other organs, mainly skin and eye. The HLA class I molecule HLA-B*51 allele is strongly associated with BD in many different ethnic groups and appears to be a significant risk factor for BD in the ancient Silk Route areas in contrast with Western and Northern Europe and U.S.1–4
Objectives Our purpose was to show the frequency of presence of HLA-B*51 allele in Armenian patients with BD and estimate any correlation with common symptoms of disease depended on presence of HLA-B*51.
Methods Forty-seven patients of Armenian origin (28 males 59.6% and 19 females 40.4%) fulfilling the International Criteria for BD (ICBD) with mean age 29.7±11.3 years; disease duration – 5.3±12.4 years were enrolled. We observed the clinical manifestations of BD of both HLA-B*51 carriers and non-carriers.
Results HLA-B*51 was detected in 38 (80.8%) patients, of whom 25 male and 13 female (65.8% and 34.2%, respectively). Arthritis, erythema nodosum and genital ulcers were significantly more common in HLA-B*51-positive patients (83.3%, 83.3% and 80.6% respectively) than in HLA-B*51-negative ones (16.7%, p=0.032, 16.7% p=0.032 and 19.4% p=0.023 respectively).
Conclusions In this ever first estimation of HLA-B*51 gene frequency in patients with BD in Armenia, our results indicated that the frequency of HLA-B*51 allele in BD is 80.8% which is higher than elsewhere (in Japan 58.9%, Iran 61.9%, Turkey 75%, Saudi Arabia 76.9% Greece 78.9%)5. Furthermore, this investigation revealed HLA-B*51 carriage much more often in male than in female BD patients. In addition HLA-B*51 carriers are in significant higher risk of development of arthritis, erythema nodosum and genital ulcers.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared