A Prospective Screening of HLA-B*57.01 Allelic Variant for Preventing the Hypersensivity Reaction to Abacavir: Experience from the Laboratory of Molecular Biology of the Infectious Diseases Division at the University Hospital of Salerno
Mazzeo M, M.
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Abacavir is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor largely used as part of the antiretroviral therapy in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-infected patients. Some individuals (2-9%) who start an abacavir treatment show an immunologic reaction indicated as hypersensitivity reaction syndrome (HSR) that is often responsible for therapy discontinuation and could represent a life-threatening event. Some studies demonstrated a correlation between this adverse reaction and the class I of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) allele, HLA-B*57.01, in several populations, including Caucasians. Nowadays, International HIV treatment guidelines recommend the HLA-B*57.01 genotyping before abacavir administration to reduce the incidence of HSR. Both male and female HIV-infected patients were enrolled at the Infectious Diseases Division at the University Hospital of Salerno, and admitted to a prospective HLA-B*57.01 screening. Genetic analysis was carried out through two sequential Real-Time PCR reactions in which Sybr-Green was used. Out of 248 patients, 215 were Italians from Southern Italy and 33 were coming from several non-EU members countries. All were genotyped: 6 Italians (2.8%) and 1 of the non-EU group (3%) were identified as HLA-B*57.01 carriers. In this paper we present our experience in the field of abacavir pharmacogenetic and confirm the importance of Real Time PCR as a valid and cost-effective HLA-B*57.01 typing methodology.