A large population-based association study between HLA and KIR genotypes and measles vaccine antibody responses

Inna G. Ovsyannikova, Daniel J. Schaid, Beth R. Larrabee, Iana H. Haralambieva, Richard B. Kennedy, Gregory A. Poland

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10 Scopus citations


Human antibody response to measles vaccine is highly variable in the population. Host genes contribute to inter-individual antibody response variation. The killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) are recognized to interact with HLA molecules and possibly influence humoral immune response to viral antigens. To expand on and improve our previous work with HLA genes, and to explore the genetic contribution of KIR genes to the inter-individual variability in measles vaccine-induced antibody responses, we performed a large population-based study in 2,506 healthy immunized subjects (ages 11 to 41 years) to identify HLA and KIR associations with measles vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies. After correcting for the large number of statistical tests of allele effects on measles-specific neutralizing antibody titers, no statistically significant associations were found for either HLA or KIR loci. However, suggestive associations worthy of follow-up in other cohorts include B∗57:01, DQB1∗06:02, and DRB1∗15:05 alleles. Specifically, the B∗57:01 allele (1,040 mIU/mL; p = 0.0002) was suggestive of an association with lower measles antibody titer. In contrast, the DQB1∗06:02 (1,349 mIU/mL; p = 0.0004) and DRB1∗15:05 (2,547 mIU/mL; p = 0.0004) alleles were suggestive of an association with higher measles antibodies. Notably, the associations with KIR genotypes were strongly nonsignificant, suggesting that KIR loci in terms of copy number and haplotypes are not likely to play a major role in antibody response to measles vaccination. These findings refine our knowledge of the role of HLA and KIR alleles in measles vaccine-induced immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0171261
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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