Common and well-documented HLA alleles: report of the Ad-Hoc committee of the american society for histocompatiblity and immunogenetics

Hum Immunol. 2007 May;68(5):392-417. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2007.01.014. Epub 2007 Feb 15.


In histocompatibility testing some genotype ambiguities are almost always resolved into the genotype with the most common alleles. To achieve unambiguous assignments additional unwieldy tests are performed. The American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics formed a committee to define what human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotypes do not need to be resolved in external proficiency testing. The tasks included detailed analysis of large datasets of high-resolution typing and thorough review of the pertinent scientific literature. Strict criteria were used to create a catalogue of common and well-documented (CWD) alleles. In total, 130, 245, 81, and 143 of the highly polymorphic HLA-A, -B, -C, and DRB1 loci fell into the CWD category; these represent 27%-30% of all alleles recognized. For the loci DRB3/4/5, DQA1, DQB1, and DPB1, a total of 29, 16, 26, and 52 CWD alleles were identified. A recommendation indicated that an acceptable report should only include one possible genotype; multiple genotypes can only be reported if only one of these includes two alleles of the CWD group. Exceptions in which resolution is not necessary are ambiguities involving functional alleles with identical sequences in the antigen recognition site. The criteria were established for proficiency testing, which could be a valuable tool when making clinical histocompatibility decisions.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Alleles*
  • Databases as Topic
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • HLA Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-A Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-B Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-C Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-D Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DP Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DP beta-Chains
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DQ alpha-Chains
  • HLA-DQ beta-Chains
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • HLA-DRB3 Chains
  • HLA-DRB4 Chains
  • HLA-DRB5 Chains
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Testing*
  • Humans
  • Terminology as Topic


  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-A Antigens
  • HLA-B Antigens
  • HLA-C Antigens
  • HLA-D Antigens
  • HLA-DP Antigens
  • HLA-DP beta-Chains
  • HLA-DPB1 antigen
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • HLA-DQ alpha-Chains
  • HLA-DQ beta-Chains
  • HLA-DQA1 antigen
  • HLA-DQB1 antigen
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • HLA-DRB3 Chains
  • HLA-DRB4 Chains
  • HLA-DRB5 Chains
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I