Background: Pediatric bronchial asthma is associated with considerable morbidity. The study was carried out to examine the association of Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)- Class II with the disease as we found no similar study on Asian Indian population.
Objective: To define the HLA-Class II antigens in Asian Indian pediatric patients with asthma.
Methods: A total of 103 children with asthma and 152 controls were analysed for HLA Class II (DRB1, DQB1and DPB1) by PCR-SSP (Sequence Specific Primers) method. Total serum IgE levels were determined by ELISA assay.
Results: A positive family history was recorded in 59 patients (57%) and 13 (8.5%) of healthy controls. Serum IgE levels were more than normal range in 72% of the patients and 33% of healthy subjects with mean values of 4877 and 627 IU/ml, respectively. DRB1*04 and DQB1*03 showed significant positive relations while DRB1*15 showed a negative association with asthma. DQB1*02 was more common in healthy individuals but was not statistically significant.
Conclusions: A positive association of the DR4/DQB1*03 and a negative association of DRB1*15 was seen with extrinsic bronchial asthma. However, more studies are required on larger populations to confirm the association of HLA Class II alleles in Indians before a particular allele can be labeled as being protective or causative for asthma.