HLA repertoire of 115 UAE nationals infected with SARS-CoV-2

Halima Alnaqbi, Guan K. Tay, Herbert F. Jelinek, Amirtharaj Francis, Eman Alefishat, Sarah El Haj Chehadeh, Amna Tahir Saeed, Mawada Hussein, Salameh Laila Salameh, Bassam H. Mahboub, Maimunah Uddin, Nawal Alkaabi, Habiba S. Alsafar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The class I and class II Human Leucocyte Antigens (HLA) are an integral part of the host adaptive immune system against viral infections. The characterization of HLA allele frequency in the population can play an important role in determining whether HLA antigens contribute to viral susceptibility. In this regard, global efforts are currently underway to study possible correlations between HLA alleles with the occurrence and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Specifically, this study examined the possible association between specific HLA alleles and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 in a population from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The frequencies of HLA class I (HLA-A, -B, and -C) and HLA class II alleles (HLA-DRB1 and -DQB1); defined using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS); from 115 UAE nationals with mild, moderate, and severe SARS-CoV-2 infection are presented here. HLA alleles and supertypes were compared between hospitalized and non-hospitalized subjects. Statistical significance was observed between certain HLA alleles and supertypes and the severity of the infection. Specifically, alleles HLA-B*51:01 and HLA-A*26:01 showed a negative association (suggestive of protection), whilst genotypes HLA-A*03:01, HLA-DRB1*15:01, and supertype B44 showed a positive association (suggestive of predisposition) to COVID-19 severity. The results support the potential use of HLA testing to differentiate between patients who require specific clinical management strategies.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Human Leucocyte Antigen
  • Major histocompatibility complex
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United Arab Emirates


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