Background: Peanut allergy is a common and severe phenotype of food allergy with a strong genetic component; HLA class II polymorphisms are attractive candidate genes for this disorder.
Objective: To determine possible genotypic associations of HLA class II with peanut allergy and attempt replication of previously reported associations.
Methods: Sibling pairs discordant for peanut allergy were genotyped (low resolution) by polymerase chain reaction-based methods to 7 DQ and 18 DR allele groups. A chi2 analysis was undertaken against sibling controls with statistical adjustment for multiple analyses.
Results: Seventy-three children with confirmed peanut allergy (mean age, 6.5 years; male, 72%; asthma, 58%; atopic dermatitis, 62%; allergic rhinitis, 67%; other food allergies, 41%) and 75 of their siblings who eat peanut (mean age, 8 years; male, 52%; asthma, 12%; atopic dermatitis, 22%; allergic rhinitis, 37%; other food allergy, 7%) were genotyped. Distribution of DQ7 (29% of children with peanut allergy vs 47% sibling controls) was statistically significantly different (P = .04) before statistical correction for multiple comparisons was made by multiplying them by the number of alleles tested (and not statistically significant after correction; P = .30). Distribution of DR11 was nearly statistically significant without statistical adjustment (26% with peanut allergy vs 41% of sibling controls; P = .07; corrected P = 1.3). Alleles that were previously reported to have a weak association with peanut allergy (DRB1 *03, *08; DQB1 *0302, *04) were not verified in this cohort (unadjusted P > .44).
Conclusions: We could not establish an association between the HLA class II alleles evaluated in this cohort of sibling pairs discordant for peanut allergy.