Fibrosing mediastinitis complicating prior histoplasmosis is associated with human leukocyte antigen DQB1*04:02 - a case control study

BMC Infect Dis. 2015 May 5;15:206. doi: 10.1186/s12879-015-0943-7.


Background: Fibrosing mediastinitis (FM) is an idiosyncratic reaction to infection with Histoplasma capsulatum with a prevalence of 3:100,000 people infected. The rarity of post-histoplasmosis fibrosing mediastinitis (PHFM) in areas where H. capsulatum is endemic suggests that an abnormal immunological host response may be responsible for the development of fibrosis. Our group previously reported an association between subjects with PHFM and human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*02. We sought to confirm or extend those findings with application of high resolution HLA typing in a cohort of subjects with PHFM.

Methods: High-resolution HLA typing was performed on DNA samples from a new cohort 34 patients with PHFM. Control cohorts included 707 subjects from the "European American" subset of the National Marrow Donor Program(®) (NMDP) and 700 subjects from Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (DCI). The carriage frequencies of the HLA alleles identified in the PHFM, NMDP, and DCI cohorts were calculated and then all were compared.

Results: We found an increase in the carriage frequency of HLA-DQB1*04:02 in PHFM subjects relative to the controls (0.15 versus 0.07 in DCI and 0.05 in NMDP; p = 0.08 and 0.03). Multiple logistic regression showed that DQB1*04:02 was statistically significant (p = 0.04), while DQB1*03:02 and C*03:04 had point estimates of OR > 1, though they did not reach statistical significance. The HLA-A*02 association was not replicated.

Conclusions: HLA-DQB1*04:02 is associated with PHFM, which supports the premise that an aberrant host immune response contributes to the development of PHFM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • HLA-DQ beta-Chains / genetics*
  • HLA-DQ beta-Chains / immunology
  • Histoplasma*
  • Histoplasmosis / complications
  • Histoplasmosis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mediastinitis / complications
  • Mediastinitis / immunology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prevalence
  • Sclerosis / complications
  • Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Tennessee


  • HLA-DQ beta-Chains
  • HLA-DQB1 antigen

Supplementary concepts

  • Mediastinal Fibrosis