Background: Pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) develops by a complex combination of environmental factors with genetic susceptibility. In this context, an association between human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) and tuberculosis has been examined in several populations, but results have been controversial.
Design and measurements: A prospective evaluation of class II HLA genotypes was completed by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) sequence-specific primer technique and PCR sequence-specific oligonucleotide hybridization in a Mexican population.
Setting: This study was conducted at the Clinical Service of Tuberculosis and the Department of Immunology, National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Mexico City, Mexico.
Patients: Four groups were examined: 95 healthy subjects; 50 nonimmunosuppressed PTB patients; 15 HIV-infected patients (stage IVc in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] classification system for AIDS) with PTB; and 37 HIV-infected patients in the asymptomatic stage (CDC stage II).
Results: The frequencies of alleles DQA1*0101 (odds ratio [OR], 6.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.38 to 16.08), DQB1*0501 (OR, 6.16; 95% CI, 2.44 to 17.71), and DRB1*1501 (OR, 7.92; 95% CI, 2.71 to 23.14) were significantly increased in nonimmunosuppressed patients with PTB when compared with healthy subjects. By contrast, frequencies of allele DQB1*0402 and antigens DR4 and DR8 were significantly decreased in patients with PTB. Additionally, a significantly higher frequency of the DRB1*1101 allele was found in HIV-positive subjects (OR, 6.67; 95% CI, 2.13 to 20.83).
Conclusion: The genetic influence associated with the HLA system appears to have an important role in the development of PTB, although this susceptibility may not be relevant in patients with severe immunodeficiency diseases such as AIDS.