Tuberculosis (TB) occurs as a result of complex interactions between the host immune system and pathogen virulence factors. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II molecules play an important role in the host immune system. However, no study has assessed the association between HLA class II genes and susceptibility to TB caused by specific strains. This study investigated the possible association of HLA class II genes with TB caused by modern and ancient Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). The study included 682 patients with TB and 836 control subjects who were typed for HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1 alleles. MTB strains were classified using a large sequence polymorphism typing method. Association analysis was performed using common HLA alleles and haplotypes in different MTB strains. HLA association analysis of patients infected with modern MTB strains showed significant association for HLA-DRB1*09:01 (odds ratio [OR] = 1.82; P-value = 9.88 × 10−4) and HLA-DQB1*03:03 alleles (OR = 1.76; P-value = 1.31 × 10−3) with susceptibility to TB. Haplotype analysis confirmed that these alleles were in strong linkage disequilibrium and did not exert an interactive effect. Thus, the results of this study showed an association between HLA class II genes and susceptibility to TB caused by modern MTB strains, suggesting the importance of strain-specific analysis to determine susceptibility genes associated with TB.
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