Objective: To investigate the contribution of HLA class I alleles in the susceptibility to primary ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in West African patients living in Togo.
Methods: A large epidemiologic analysis of 9,065 West African rheumatology patients living in Togo was performed in order to identify those who had AS. Eight Togolese patients with AS were identified. HLA was typed by polymerase chain reaction using sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes. DNA typing was also performed on a control population of 85 healthy subjects matched for ethnic background.
Results: A significant association between AS and B*14 was identified. This allele was found in 62.5% of the AS patients (odds ratio 69), but was carried by only 2% of the healthy controls. Analysis for B14 subtypes showed that B*1403 was the predominant allele in AS patients (odds ratio 171), and that this allele was absent in healthy controls. B27 was virtually absent, being observed in only 1 AS patient (B*2705).
Conclusion: HLA-B*1403 shows the B27 "supertype" motif and may exert an effect on AS susceptibility according to the arthritogenic peptide model. The association of B*1403 with AS has not previously been reported in either population.