Open Access Open Badges Research article

Associations of HLA DR and DQ molecules with Lyme borreliosis in Latvian patients

Lilija Kovalchuka1*, Jelena Eglite1, Irina Lucenko3, Mara Zalite23, Ludmila Viksna23 and Angelika Krumiņa2

Author Affiliations

1 Riga Stradiņš University, Clinical Immunology and Immunogenetic laboratory, Kronvalda str.9, Riga, Latvia

2 Riga Stradiņš University, Infectology and Dermatology department, Linezera 3, Riga, Latvia

3 Riga Stradiņš University Infectology and Dermatology Department, Infectology Center of Latvia, Linezera 3, Riga, Latvia

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:438  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-438

Published: 14 August 2012



Many autoimmune diseases are associated with variants of HLA genes such as those encoding the MHC complex. This correlation is not absolute, but may help in understanding of the molecular mechanism of disease. The purpose of this study was to determine HLA-DR,-DQ alleles in Latvian patients with Lyme borreliosis and control (healthy) persons. Case patients and control subjects were similar in age, gender and ethnic heritage and differed only as regards the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi infection. The study included 25 patients with clinical stage – erythema migrans and 30 control (healthy) persons. HLA genotyping was performed by PCR with sequence-specific primers.


The results show difference in HLA-DRB1 alleles distribution between patients and control subjects. The frequencies of HLA-DRB1 *04 (OR 11.24; p < 0.007) and HLA-DRB1 *17 (03) (OR 8.05; p < 0.033) were increased in the Lyme disease patients. And the frequency of allele DRB1*13 (OR 0.12; p < 0.017) was lower in Borreliosis patients and higher in control group. But, significant differences in frequencies of HLA-DQ alleles we did not detect.


HLA predisposition to Lyme borreliosis appears not to be limited to HLA molecules, but some HLA-DR alleles also have a significant influence, and, may have implications in our understanding of pathogenesis of this disease. In particular, HLA-DRB1*04 and DRB1 *17 (03) may contribute to the Lyme borreliosis development in Latvian population

Lyme borreliosis; HLA alleles; PCR