Aims/hypothesis: We investigated the risk associated with HLA-B*39 alleles in the context of specific HLA-DR/DQ haplotypes.
Methods: We studied a readily available dataset from the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium that consists of 2,300 affected sibling pair families genotyped for both HLA alleles and 2,837 single nucleotide polymorphisms across the major histocompatibility complex region.
Results: The B*3906 allele significantly enhanced the risk of type 1 diabetes when present on specific HLA-DR/DQ haplotypes (DRB1 0801-DQB1 0402: p = 1.6 × 10(-6), OR 25.4; DRB1 0101-DQB1 0501: p = 4.9 × 10(-5), OR 10.3) but did not enhance the risk of DRB1 0401-DQB1 0302 haplotypes. In addition, the B 3901 allele enhanced risk on the DRB1 1601-DQB1 0502 haplotype (p = 3.7 × 10(-3), OR 7.2).
Conclusions/interpretation: These associations indicate that the B 39 alleles significantly increase risk when present on specific HLA-DR/DQ haplotypes, and HLA-B typing in concert with specific HLA-DR/DQ genotypes should facilitate genetic prediction of type 1 diabetes, particularly in a research setting.