April 2011
Volume 52, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2011
A Shared Hla-drb1 Epitope In The Dr Beta First Domain Is Associated With Vogt-koyanagi-harada Syndrome In Indian Patients
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Edoardo Baglivo
    Clinique d'Ophtalmologie,
    Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Rathinam Sivakumar
    Uveitis Clinic, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India
  • Marianne Gex-Fabry
    PS-Recherche Clinique,
    Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Jean-Marie Tiercy
    National Reference Laboratory for Histocompatibility, Transplantation Immunology Unit,
    Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Edoardo Baglivo, None; Rathinam Sivakumar, None; Marianne Gex-Fabry, None; Jean-Marie Tiercy, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2011, Vol.52, 2384. doi:
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      Edoardo Baglivo, Rathinam Sivakumar, Marianne Gex-Fabry, Jean-Marie Tiercy; A Shared Hla-drb1 Epitope In The Dr Beta First Domain Is Associated With Vogt-koyanagi-harada Syndrome In Indian Patients. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):2384.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) disease and sympathetic ophthalmia (SO) are two distinct entities that share common clinical and histopathological features. It is unknown whether they have a common genetic susceptibility. We present in this paper the HLA-DRB1 genotyping analysis of a large cohort of VKH patients from southern India and compare these patients to patients with SO and to healthy individuals from the same geographic area.


VKH patients were diagnosed according to the revised criteria of the International Committee on VKH disease. Genomic DNA was extracted from all patients and controls. Samples were analyzed for HLA-DRB1 alleles by reverse polymerase chain reaction (PCR) sequence-specific oligonucleotide (SSO) hybridization on microbeads, using the Luminex technology, and by PCR sequence-specific primers (SSP) typing for DRB1*04 allele determination. Strength of associations was estimated by odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) and frequencies were compared using the Fisher's exact test.


HLA-DRB1 alleles were determined in 94 VKH patients, 39 SO patients, and 112 healthy controls. HLA-DRB1*04 frequency was higher in VKH patients (20.2% versus 10.3% in controls; OR=2.2, p=0.005, pc=0.067). This association was lower than the association of HLA-DRB1*04 frequency in cohorts of patients from different origins. No significant DR4 association with SO was detected. HLA-DRB1*0405 and HLA-DRB1*0410 alleles were significantly increased in VKH patients (8.5% versus 0.9% in controls; OR=10.3, 95% CI=2.34-45.5, p<0.001). These two alleles share the epitope S57-LLEQRRAA (67-74) in the third hypervariable region of the HLA-DR molecule. None of the DRB1 alleles was significantly associated with SO.


Based on the association of HLA-DRB1*0405 and HLA-DRB1*0410 alleles with VKH disease, we propose that the epitope S57-LLEQRRAA (67-74) in the third hypervariable region of the HLA-DRbeta1 molecule is the relevant susceptibility epitope. This genetic component seems specific to VKH disease since no correlation could be identified in SO patients. The weaker association with HLA-DR4 in this VKH patient cohort compared to VKH patients from northern India is probably related to the lower frequency of HLA-DRB1*0405 in our study group.

Keywords: uvea • genetics • gene screening 

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