Genetic variations in HLA-B region and hypersensitivity reactions to abacavir

Lancet. 2002 Mar 30;359(9312):1121-2. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(02)08158-8.


Hypersensitivity to abacavir affects about 4% of patients who receive the drug for HIV-1 infection. We did a retrospective, case-control study to identify multiple markers in the vicinity of HLA-B associated with hypersensitivity reactions. HLA-B57 was present in 39 (46%) of 84 patients versus four (4%) of 113 controls (p<0 small middle dot0001). However, because of low numbers of women and other ethnic groups enrolled, these findings relate largely to white men. The lower sensitivity of HLA-B57 for predicting hypersensitivity to abacavir identified in this study compared with a previous report highlights that predictive values for markers will vary across populations. Clinical monitoring and management of hypersensitivity reactions among patients receiving abacavir must remain unchanged.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-HIV Agents / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dideoxynucleosides / adverse effects*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Variation*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV-1
  • HLA-B Antigens / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Racial Groups / genetics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Dideoxynucleosides
  • Genetic Markers
  • HLA-B Antigens
  • HLA-B57 antigen
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • abacavir