Evaluation of Lewis blood group antigens and secretor status in pemphigus vulgaris

Clin Exp Dermatol. 2016 Jan;41(1):16-20. doi: 10.1111/ced.12707. Epub 2015 Jul 26.


Background: There has not been publication of any previous study about the role of secretory status or Lewis phenotypes in the mechanisms of pemphigus vulgaris (PV).

Aim: To evaluate the frequencies of secretory status and Lewis phenotypes in patients with PV compared with healthy controls (HCs) in order determine their roles in this autoimmune disease.

Methods: In total, 50 patients and 100 age- and sex-matched HCs were selected to form the study population, and 2 mL blood were collected from each subject to identify their Lewis phenotype. In subjects with the Le(a-b-) phenotype, saliva was also collected to determine secretor status.

Results: The frequency of the nonsecretor (NS) phenotypes Le(a+b-) and Le(a-b-) together was significantly higher in patients than in HCs: 34/50 (68%)vs. 26/100 (26%), respectively (P < 0.001). All the patients and HC subjects with the Le (a-b-) phenotype were found to be NS by haemagglutination inhibition assay of saliva samples.

Conclusion: Based on our results, it seems that Le/b-negative NS individuals are more susceptible to PV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lewis Blood Group Antigens / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pemphigus / blood*
  • Phenotype
  • Saliva / immunology


  • Lewis Blood Group Antigens