In this study, we used the affected sibling-pairs approach to investigate the linkage of HLA (human leukocyte antigen)-DRB1* with phenotypes related to allergy to Parietaria, the most common pollinosis in Mediterranean countries. The study population consisted of 51 nuclear families (235 subjects). Linkage was detected with Parietaria skin test positivity (p < 0.01), presence of IgG and IgE antibodies specific for the major allergen Par o 1 (p < 0.020 and p < 0.025, respectively), and absence of Par o 1-specific IgE (p < 0.020). High levels of Par o I-specifiC IgG were associated with DRB1*1101 and/or DRB1*1104 (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.0119, respectively) in parents and probands. High levels of Par o 1-specific IgE were associated with DRB1*1104 in parents (p < 0.017) and with DRB1*1101 in probands (p < 0.0146). When siblings were categorized according to high/low total IgE levels (≥125 IU/ml and <125 IU/ml, respectively), high IgE antibody response was associated with DRB1*1104 in siblings with low total IgE (p < 0.034) and with DRB1*1101 in siblings with high total IgE (p < 0.05). These results demonstrate that HLA-DRB1*, or genes in linkage disequilibrium, contributes to susceptibility to Parietaria allergy and that total IgE levels can discriminate population subsets where different alleles (at the HLA region or at loci in linkage disequilibrium) contribute to control allergen-specific IgE synthesis.
- Genetic linkage
- HLA-DRB1* association