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Introduction: Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) is an autoimmune disorder affecting melanocyte-containing tissues. Major histocompatibility complex, class II, DR beta1 (HLA-DRB1)*04 and its suballele HLA-DRB1*0405 were found to be associated with VKH in many studies.
Purpose: To determine the association of HLA-DRB1*04 and its suballele HLADRB1*0405 with VKH patients of Malay descent.
Materials and methods: A case control study was conducted among VKH patients of Malay ethnicity attending Ophthalmology Clinic, Hospital Selayang, Malaysia from December 2016 to December 2017. HLA-DRB1*04 allele-specific typing was performed on 14 Malay patients with VKH and 14 healthy controls using the polymerase chain reaction sequence-specific primer method. The data was then analysed using Fisher’s Exact test.
Results: The frequency of HLA-DRB1*04 was noted to be higher in patients (42.9%) compared to controls (14.3%), but was not statistically significant (p = 0.209). The frequency of suballele HLA-DRB1*0405 was also increased in patients (42.9%) vs
controls (7.1%); however, the results were not significant (p = 0.077).
Conclusion: In conclusion, although the findings were not statistically significant, the increased frequency of both HLA-DRB1*04 and its suballele HLA-DRB1*0405 may suggest a possible cause for the development of VKH among Malay patients.