HLA and infectious diseases

Jenefer Blackwell, Sarra Jamieson, David Burgner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

258 Citations (Scopus)


Following their discovery in the early 1970s, classical human leukocyte antigen (HLA) loci have been the prototypical candidates for genetic susceptibility to infectious disease. Indeed, the original hypothesis for the extreme variability observed at HLA loci (H-2 in mice) was the major selective pressure from infectious diseases. Now that both the human genome and the molecular basis of innate and acquired immunity are understood in greater detail, do the classical HLA loci still stand out as major genes that determine susceptibility to infectious disease? This review looks afresh at the evidence supporting a role for classical HLA loci in susceptibility to infectious disease, examines the limitations of data reported to date, and discusses current advances in methodology and technology that will potentially lead to greater understanding of their role in infectious diseases in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalClinical Microbiology Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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