Association between Human Leukocyte Antigen-DQ Polymorphisms and Treatment Response in Chronic Hepatitis B Egyptian Population: A Prospective Study

Amal A. Mohamed1, Sherief Abd-Elsalam2, Mariam Zaghloul3, Mohamed Attala4, Rania A. Khattab5, Amir Khater4, Dalia A. El-damasy6, Eman El-Sayed7, Soha Hassanin8, Nehad Hawash2, Mohmoud R. Mohamed9
1 Department of Biochemistry, National Hepatology & Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt
2 Tropical Medicine Department, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
3 Hepatology, Gastroenterology and Infectious diseases, Kafr-Elsheikh University, Kafr el-Sheikh, Egypt
4 Tropical Department, National Hepatology & Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Egypt
5 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Egypt
6 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Egyptian Russian University, Egypt
7 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Minia University, Minia, Egypt
8 Department of Biochemistry, Modern University for Technology and Information, Egypt
9 Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Minia University, Minia, Egypt

© 2020 Mohamed et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Departmentof Tropical Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt; Tel: 201063319696; E-mail:


Background & Aims:

Several studies, in different populations, have focused on the role of HLA-DQ gene polymorphism in the pathogenesis of HBV infection. However, these findings are still controversial. This study aimed to determine HLA-DQ polymorphism in Chronic HBV patients and its impact on the response to antiviral therapy.


This study was carried out on a total number of 188 participants, they were subdivided as follows: Group I (patients’ group): included 97 patients with chronic hepatitis B viral infection that was further subdivided according to response to treatment into responder and non-responder subgroups, Group II (Control group): included 91 normal healthy subjects who were matched to the patient group by sex and age. PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing, for HBV-DNA, was done for all participants enrolled in the study to measure the viral virus load before and after treatment. HLA- DQ polymorphism allelic discrimination assay was assayed using the Real-time equipment.


In a general analysis for the SNP rs7453920, the overall genotypes frequencies were 37% for A/A, 60.6% for A/G, and 37% for G/G. The G alleles of HLA-DQ rs7453920 were significantly increased in chronic HBV infection patients. A total of 77 (79.4%) patients were responders. Among this group, 72.7% were male, and the average age was 38.59 ±9.15 years. On evaluation of the association between polymorphisms in HLA-DQ gene and treatment response, the results indicated that response to treatment declined when patients were carrying the more unfavorable rs 7453920 GG with a response rate of 64%. Patients carrying the mutant allele AG, or the wild type allele AA were more likely to achieve a higher rate of response (84.8% and 83.3%, respectively).


The presence of HLA-DQB2 rs 7453920-G serves as a risk factor for chronic HBV infection and treatment failure in the Egyptian population.

Keywords: Hepatitis B virus, HLA-DQ, Antiviral therapy, Polymorphism, Response, PCR.