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Volume 47, Number 1, February 2014

The role of human leukocyte antigen tissue groups in hepatitis B virus vaccination in Turkey 

Gurkan Mert, Ali Sengul, Hanefi Cem Gul, Ahmet Karakas, Can Polat Eyigun

Received: December 25, 2012    Revised: January 9, 2013    Accepted: January 18, 2013   


Corresponding author:

Corresponding author. Gn Tevfik Sağlam Caddesi, Gülhane Askeri Tıp Fakültesi, Enfeksiyon Hastalıkları ve Klinik Mikrobiyoloji AD, 06018 Ankara, Turkey 


Background and purpose: 

Between 5% and 10% of the vaccinated population responds less well to standard vaccination schedules irrespective of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination. This manuscript aims at describing possible correlation of different major histocompatibility complex (MHC) Class-I and MHC Class-II haplotype to anti-HBV humoral responsiveness following HBV vaccination. 



The study was conducted on 944 vaccinated hospital staff members and concentrated on the 38 nonresponders as defined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) results. In order to define significance of the different haplotypes from the nonresponders, their frequency was compared to the frequency of the same haplotype in 18 randomly selected responders. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A and HLA-B antigens were typed among total mononuclear cells using a standard two-stage microlymphocytotoxicity test. The typing method of HLA Class-II is based on a technique that involves amplification of the second exon of different HLA Class-II genes by PCR. 



Positive correlations were found between four HLA-DR (HLA-DRB1*04X, DRB1*0401X, DRB1*11/13, and DRB1*0401X0201) haplotypes and nonresponders but there was a negative correlation with one Class-I (HLA-B13). 



This study suggested that certain HLA types are associated with nonresponsiveness to vaccination. The different HLA of ethnic groups should also be kept in mind when evaluating the response to hepatitis vaccination. The different HLA gene frequencies of ethnic groups should be examined in further large-scale population-based studies. 


Key words:

Hepatitis B vaccines, HLA-DR, Human leukocyte antigen, Nonresponse