• Article

An epidemiologic study to determine the prevalence of the HLA-B*5701 allele among HIV-positive patients in Europe


Orkin, C., Wang, J., Bergin, C., Molina, J. M., Lazzarin, A., Cavassini, M., ... Pearce, H. (2010). An epidemiologic study to determine the prevalence of the HLA-B*5701 allele among HIV-positive patients in Europe. Pharmacogenetics and Genomics, 20(5), 307-314.


Objectives HLA-B*5701 is a major histocompatibility complex class I allele associated with an immunologically-mediated hypersensitivity reaction to abacavir. The objectives of this study were to evaluate HLA-B*5701 prevalence among European, HIV-1-infected patients and to compare the local and central laboratory screening results.
Methods Data were combined from six multicentre, prospective studies involving 10 European countries in which HIV-1-infected patients (irrespective of treatment experience or previous HLA-B*5701 screening), >= 18 years of age, were evaluated for HLA-B*5701 carriage, determined by the central and local laboratory methods.

Results A total of 9720 patients from 272 centres were included in the analysis. The overall estimate of HLA-B*5701 prevalence in Europe was 4.98%, with country-specific estimates ranging from 1.53 to 7.75%. HLA-B*5701 prevalence was highest in the self-reported white population (6.49%) and lowest in the black population (0.39%). Local laboratory results had a high specificity (99.9%) and sensitivity (99.2%) when compared with the central laboratory results.

Conclusion This study supports data from previous studies regarding the prevalence of HLA-B*5701 in the HIV population and the variation of HLA-B*5701 prevalence between different racial groups. The high specificity and sensitivity of local laboratory results, suggests that clinicians can be confident in using local laboratories for pretreatment HLA-B*5701 screening. However, it is essential that local laboratories participate in HLA-B*5701-specific quality assurance programs to maintain 100% sensitivity. In HIV-infected patients, pretreatment HLA-B*5701 screening may allow more informed decisions regarding abacavir use and has the potential to significantly reduce the frequency of abacavir-related hypersensitivity reactions and costs associated with managing these reactions. Pharmacogenetics and Genomics 20: 307-314 (c) 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health vertical bar Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.