Publication Details

Title :

HLA class II polymorphism in Saudi patients with multiple sclerosis.


Genome Med.

Impact Factor:



Al Jumah M1,2, Kojan S1, Al Shehri AM1, Al Balwi M2, Al Abdulkarim I2, Masuadi EM3, Alhaidan Y2, Alabdulrahman A2, Fakhoury HM4, Hajeer AH5.


1 Department of Neurology, King Abdulaziz Medical City, National Guard Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

2 Population Genetics, King Abdullah International Medical Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

3 Research Unit, Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

4 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

5 College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Year of Publication:





Several studies have investigated the association of different HLA antigens with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, only few studies have considered the association of high-resolution HLA type and MS with none yet from Saudi Arabia. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of HLA class II alleles with MS in the Saudi population. We used next-generation sequencing to investigate HLA association with MS. This study was conducted at King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We found that several HLA-DRB1 and DQB1 alleles were associated with MS. These alleles included HLA-DRB1*15:01 (odds ratio [OR]: 3.01; 95%, confidence interval [CI]: 1.68-5.54; P = .0001), HLA-DQB1*02:01 (OR: 1.76; 95% CI: 1.20-2.58; P = .0022), HLA-DQB1*06:02 (OR: 3.52; 95% CI: 1.87-6.86; P < .0001), and HLA-DQB1*06:03 (OR: 2.42; 95% CI: 1.16-5.25; P = 0.01). Interestingly, HLA-DRB1*15:01 was associated with increased risk of previous relapses. In addition, HLA-DRB1*15:01 and HLA-DQB1*06:02 were found to be associated with lower vitamin D levels. This study provides insights on the association of different HLA alleles with clinical characteristics and outcome of MS among Saudis. These insights can have future implications for the clinical management of MS based on the patient genetic profile.