Association of HLA-DRB1*09:01 with severe COVID-19

HLA. 2021 Jul;98(1):37-42. doi: 10.1111/tan.14256. Epub 2021 Apr 13.


HLA-A, -C, -B, and -DRB1 genotypes were analyzed in 178 Japanese COVID-19 patients to investigate the association of HLA with severe COVID-19. Analysis of 32 common HLA alleles at four loci revealed a significant association between HLA-DRB1*09:01 and severe COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR], 3.62; 95% CI, 1.57-8.35; p = 0.00251 [permutation p value = 0.0418]) when age, sex, and other common HLA alleles at the DRB1 locus were adjusted. The DRB1*09:01 allele was more significantly associated with risk for severe COVID-19 compared to preexisting medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. These results indicate a potential role for HLA in predisposition to severe COVID-19.

Keywords: Japan; association; coronavirus disease 2019; human leukocyte antigen; risk factor; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • COVID-19* / diagnosis
  • COVID-19* / genetics
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains* / genetics
  • Humans


  • HLA-DRB1 Chains