The influence of the HLA-DRB1*13 allele on measles vaccine response

Mary S. Hayney, Gregory A. Poland, Robert M. Jacobson, Daniel J. Schaid, James J. Lipsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background: Measles remains a public health threat in the United States with over 50,000 cases being reported from 1989 through 1991 with continued smaller outbreaks. Measles vaccine failure is in part to blame for these large-scale outbreaks. The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes are important determinants of immune response to measles virus and vaccine. To examine the influence that HLA polymorphisms may have on measles vaccine antibody response, we compared the distribution of HLA-DRB1 allcles between measles vaccine nonresponders and hyper-responders. Methods: We determined the seroprevalence of measles antibody in 881 school children immunized with measles-mumps-rubella-II at age 15 months using a whole virus IgG EIA. We performed class II HLA-DR typing by PCR with sequence specific primers (PCR-SSP) on 81 nonresponders (IgG seronegative) and 65 hyper-responders (from the upper 10th percentile of IgG levels of all subjects). We then com-pared the distribution of alleles between nonresponders and hyper-responders. Results: The distribution of HLA-DRB1 alleles among nonresponders compared to hyper-responders was significantly different (p = 0.014). Nonresponders were significantly less likely to carry the HLA-DRB1*13 alleles than were hyper-responders (7.4% vs 16.2%; p = 0.02). Nonresponders also had an excess of HLA-DRB1*07 alleles (15.4% vs 6.2%; p = 0.015). Conclusions: The absence of HLA-DRB1*13 alleles is associated with measles vaccine nonresponse. The absence of this allele has also been associated with susceptibility to other infectious diseases. The role of this gene in the immunogenetic response to infectious diseases requires fur-ther study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-263
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996


  • HLA class II
  • HLA-DR
  • Measles vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of the HLA-DRB1*13 allele on measles vaccine response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this