HLA-multiple sclerosis association in continental Italy and correlation with disease prevalence in Europe

J Neuroimmunol. 2004 May;150(1-2):178-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2004.01.015.


The association with HLA-DRB1 alleles was tested in 609 Continental Italian MS patients and 836 controls. The phenotype frequency of DRB1*15 in the patients was significantly higher (0.316 vs. 0.112; p(c)<10(-6); Odds Ratio (OR)=3.64) with no dose effect. DRB1*10 was also significantly increased (OR=2.19; p(c)=0.047) and DRB1*07 decreased (OR=0.60; p(c)=1.3 x 10(-3)) independently of DR15 and of each other. We did not detect an influence of the DR phenotype on disease course, age at onset/diagnosis, gender or familiarity. No association with Class I was detected in a random subset of patients and controls. A comparison of the HLA association data in Northern and Southern European populations shows a parallel between disease prevalence and DR15 frequency.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • HLA Antigens / analysis
  • HLA Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DR Serological Subtypes
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Testing / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / genetics*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology
  • Phenotype
  • Sex Distribution


  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • HLA-DR Serological Subtypes
  • HLA-DR15 antigen
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I