Association of HLA-DQ5 and HLA-DR1 with sensitization to organic acid anhydrides

M G Jones, J Nielsen, J Welch, Jessica M Harris, H Welinder, I Bensryd, S Skerfving, K Welsh, K M Venables, A N Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Organic acid anhydrides are low molecular weight industrial chemicals, able to cause rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma associated with specific IgE against hapten-carrier protein conjugate. Only a proportion of exposed workers develop IgE-associated allergy to acid anhydrides.

OBJECTIVE: We determined whether genetic susceptibility, in particular, HLA Class II alleles may be a risk factor.

METHODS: We undertook HLA typing in 52 cases who had confirmed specific IgE and in 73 referents matched on site, age and duration of acid anhydride exposure identified in cross-sectional studies of workers exposed to hexahydrophthalic (HHPA), methylhexahydrophthalic (MHHPA) and methyltetrahydrophthalic (MTHPA) anhydrides.

RESULTS: The linked alleles DQ5 (odds ratio [OR]=4.3; 95% confidence interval [95% CI]=1.7, 11) and DR1 (OR 3.0; 95% CI 1.2, 11) were more prevalent in cases than in referents. Within DQ5, DQB1(*)0501 was particularly frequent (OR 3.0; 95% CI 1.2, 7.4).

CONCLUSION: DQB1(*)05 gene confers susceptibility to develop specific IgE antibodies against HHPA, MHHPA and a non-significant trend with MTHPA. DQB1(*)0501 is protective for other low molecular chemical sensitizers (isocyanates and plicatic acid) which may indicate varying affinities for the corresponding specific class II molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-6
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Allergy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2004


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alleles
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chemical Industry
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • HLA-DQ beta-Chains
  • HLA-DR1 Antigen
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Odds Ratio
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Phthalic Acids
  • Phthalic Anhydrides
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Assessment

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