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Vol. 125, No. 4, 2001
Issue release date: August 2001

Allergy to Dermatophagoides in a Group of Spanish Gypsies: Genetic Restrictions

Cárdaba B. · Moffatt M.F. · Fernández E. · Jurado A. · Rojo M. · García M. · Ansotegui I.J. · Cortegano I. · Arrieta I. · Etxenagusia M.A. · del Pozo V. · Urraca J. · Aceituno E. · Gallardo S. · Palomino P. · Cookson W. · Lahoz C.
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Background: Spanish gypsies have traditionally lived as nomads, a reason why few epidemiological studies were done in this ethnic group. However, the high prevalence of asthmatic diseases demonstrated in a population residing in the North of Spain induces us to analyse whether it was due to the influence of genetic loci previously implicated in other population studies as causing the disorders. Methods: DRB1* and DQB1* HLA class II, TCR-Vα8.1, FcεRI-β Rsa I exon 7 and intron 2, TNF-β (LTα-Nco I) and CD14, were tested for association with asthma and atopy by multiple regression analysis, in 5 families comprising 87 individuals. Results: Significant associations were found with DQB1*02 (p = 0.02) and DQB1*0301 (p = 0.008) and elevated levels of total serum IgE. A negative association (p = 0.02) was found between total serum IgE and DRB1*14. FcεRI-β Rsa I-In2 allele 1 was associated with high levels of total serum IgE (p = 0.04). Levels of Der p 1 IgE antibodies were negatively associated with DRB1*11-DQB1*0301 (p = 0.007), and positively with TCR Vα-8 allele 1 (p = 0.04) and with FcεRI-β Rsa I-In2 allele 1 (p = 0.009). Conclusions: Our results do not show any association between asthma and the genetic loci studied although they do suggest the existence of multiple genetic influences on the allergic response in these families.

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