Background: Polymorphisms in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes might predispose certain individuals to dengue fever (DF) and the severe forms of the disease: dengue haemorrhagic fever/ dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS).
Subjects and Method: A DNA-based HLA typing method was used to determine the HLA class I and II alleles in 50 patients with dengue, including 45 cases of DF, 5 cases of DHF and 177 healthy individuals in Jamaica.
Results: HLA-A*24 and – DRβ5*01/02 were significantly associated with dengue infection while possession of HLA-A*23, – CW*04, -DQβ1*02, -DQβ1*03 and DQβ1*06 were protective. No other significant associations were found after correction for the number of alleles tested at each HLA-locus.
Conclusion: This is the first study to report a significant association with HLA-A*24 and DF although this allele is associated with DHF and DSS in Vietnamese patients. The other HLA associations observed in the Jamaican cohort also are different from those reported in other ethnic groups. Further studies which involve larger numbers of patients with DHF and explore functional aspects of HLA allelic associations with dengue in Jamaicans are necessary.