Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 105–109 | Cite as

HLA-DR gene frequencies in a Zaïrean population with particular reference to rheumatic diseases

  • K. Mbayo
  • J. M. Mbuyi-Muamba
  • L. Hallé
  • D. Salmon
  • C. Martageix
  • F. Castellano
  • C. Kaplan
  • Z. Lurhuma
Original Article


Epidemiological studies have shown that rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus are uncommon in black Africans, and in this population the prevalence and the clinical features of these rheumatic diseases are variable. Environmental and genetic factors have been pointed out to explain this variability. In the present study, HLA-DR genes have been determined in a Zaïrean population in order to compare our results with those found elsewhere in other black populations of the same Bantu origin. Our results show that the frequency of HLA-DR1 is higher than in Nigerians, Zimbabweans and Xhosas, the decrease in Xhosas being statistically significant (p<0.006). The HLA-DR3 frequency is higher in Zaïreans than in Nigerians but not significantly, while it is lower than in Xhosas (p<0.003) and in Zimbabweans (not significant). The HLA-DR4 frequency is higher in Zaïreans than in Nigerians but it is lower than in Xhosas and Zimbabweans; the differences are not statistically significant. The HLA-DR8 frequency is lower in Zaïreans than in Nigerians while it is higher than in Xhosas (p<0.002) and in Zimbabweans (not significant). These data suggest that genetic factors partly explain the clinical and epidemiological variability of rheumatic diseases in black Africans.


HLA-DR genes Rheumatoid arthritis Systemic lupus erythematosus 


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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Mbayo
    • 1
  • J. M. Mbuyi-Muamba
    • 1
  • L. Hallé
    • 2
  • D. Salmon
    • 2
  • C. Martageix
    • 2
  • F. Castellano
    • 2
  • C. Kaplan
    • 2
  • Z. Lurhuma
    • 1
  1. 1.Cliniques Universitaires de KinshasaKinshasaZaïre
  2. 2.Institut National de Transfusion SanguineParisFrance

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