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Relationship between human leukocyte antigen alleles and risk of Kaposi’s sarcoma in Cameroon


Several studies published to date report associations between human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles and different types of Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS). However, there is little concordance between the HLA alleles identified and the populations studied. To test whether HLA alleles associate with KS in a Cameroonian case–control study, we performed high-resolution HLA typing in KSHV seropositive individuals. Among HIV-positive individuals, carriers of HLA-B*14:01 were at a significantly higher risk of AIDS-KS (p = 0.033). For HIV-negative patients, a gene-wise comparison of allele frequencies identified the HLA-B (p = 0.008) and -DQA1 (p = 0.002) loci as possible risk factors for endemic KS. Our study provides additional understanding of genetic determinants of KS and their implications in disease pathogenesis. Further validation of these findings is needed to define the functional relevance of these associations.

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We thank Randall Johnson, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (Frederick, MD, USA), for providing guidance in the initial selection of study participants; the staff at SOCHIMIO and all study participants. This project has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, under Contract No. HHSN261200800001E. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. This research was supported in part by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Center for Cancer Research. The original case–control study was funded in part with federal funds from the National Cancer Institute, NIH under contract N01-CO-12400 and HHSN261200800001E and NIAID, NIH, under contract 1U01AI069927.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Correspondence to Denise Whitby.

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