HLA-DRB1*15:03 and HLA-DRB1*11: useful predictive alleles for alloantibody production in thalassemia patients

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Background and Objectives:

Recently, thalassemia has been introduced as a chronic disease. In spite of prolonging life in thalassemia patients, the quality of their life has not significantly improved. One of the challenges that makes their quality of life poor is alloimmunisation which causes several complications to patients by restricting their options. Some individuals are more susceptible to developing an alloantibody than others. They are categorised as responders and non-responders. Determining responders before the first transfusion allows transfusion services to provide compatible blood and prevent alloimmunisation. The aim of the present study was to determine the relationship between HLA-DRB1*15:03, HLA-DRB1*11 and HLA-DRB1*09:01 alleles and alloimmunisation in Iranian thalassemia patients.

Materials and Methods:

Antibody screening tests were performed by tube method, and HLA-DRB1 genotyping was determined by Sequence-Specific Primers (SSP-PCR) in 59 alloimmunised and 205 non-alloimmunised patients. HLA-DRB1 allele frequencies were compared between alloantibody-positive and -negative groups through the χ2 test.


HLA-DRB1*15:03 allele frequency was significantly different between groups (P = 0·000, odds ratio (OR) = 4·193). There was a correlation between HLA-DRB1*11 and anti-K (P = 0·000, OR = 6·643). There was no association between HLA-DRB1*09:01 and alloimmunisation (P = 0·350).


According to our results, detecting HLA-DRB1*15:03 and HLA-DRB1*11 alleles are useful in the pre-transfusion test and could determine responder patients and improve transfusion safety.

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