Abstract: Association of chronic fatigue syndrome with human leucocyte antigen class II alleles

J Clin Pathol. 2005 Aug;58(8):860-3.

Smith J, Fritz EL, Kerr JR, Cleare AJ, Wessely S, Mattey DL.

National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London SW3 6NP, UK.

BACKGROUND: A genetic component to the development of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has been proposed, and a possible association between human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class II antigens and chronic fatigue immune dysfunction has been shown in some, but not all, studies.

AIMS: To investigate the role of HLA class II antigens in CFS.

METHODS: Forty nine patients with CFS were genotyped for the HLA-DRB1, HLA-DQA1, and HLA-DQB1 alleles and the frequency of these alleles was compared with a control group comprising 102 normal individuals from the UK. All patients and controls were from the same region of England and, apart from two patients, were white.

RESULTS: Analysis by 2 x 2 contingency tables revealed an increased frequency of HLA-DQA1*01 alleles in patients with CFS (51.0% v 35%; odds ratio (OR), 1.93; p = 0.008). HLA-DQB1*06 was also increased in the patients with CFS (30.2% v 20.0%; OR, 1.73, p = 0.052). Only the association between HLA-DQA1*01 and CFS was significant in logistic regression models containing HLA-DQA1*01 and HLA-DRQB1*06, and this was independent of HLA-DRB1 alleles. There was a decreased expression of HLA-DRB1*11 in CFS, although this association disappeared after correction for multiple comparisons.

CONCLUSIONS: CFS may be associated with HLA-DQA1*01, although a role for other genes in linkage disequilibrium cannot be ruled out.

PMID: 16049290 [PubMed – in process]

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