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Association between HLA-C*04 and American cutaneous leishmaniasis in endemic region of southern Brazil

Author(s): R.C. Ribas-Silva, A.D. Ribas, E.C. Ferreira, T.G.V. Silveira and S.D. Borelli

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic infectious disease with global repercussions. American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) is endemic in southern Brazil and its pathogenesis varies according to parasite species, immune response, and host genetics. In terms of immunogenetics, many host genes, including HLA (human leukocyte antigen), could be involved in susceptibility to and protection against ACL. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to investigate the association between HLA class I genes (HLA-A, -B, and -C) and ACL in an endemic region of southern Brazil. The allele frequencies of 186 patients diagnosed with ACL and 278 healthy individuals were compared. HLA class I (HLA-A, -B, and -C) typing was carried out by PCR-SSO using Luminex technology. The results revealed an association between the HLA-C*04 allele and the patient study group, in which it appeared more frequently than in the control group [21.5 vs 13.49% (P = 0.0016 and Pc = 0.0258; OR = 1.7560; 95%CI = 1.2227-2.5240)], thereby suggesting an increased susceptibility to ACL. Additional allelic groups such as HLA-A*02, HLA-B*35, HLA-B*45, HLA-C*01, and HLA-C*15 were also implicated; however, further investigation is necessary to confirm their association with ACL. Therefore, the results obtained in this study demonstrate the involvement of HLA class I genes in the susceptibility or resistance to ACL, with significant association between HLA-C*04 and ACL susceptibility.