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Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: Global. 2023;2(3):100117.



Supported in part by a grant from the Qatar National Research Fund (PPM1-1220-150017) and by funds from Sidra Medicine (SDR400127).


Background: Allergic disorders are the consequence of IgE sensitization to allergens. Population studies have shown that certain human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles are associated with increased or decreased risk of developing allergy. Objective: We aimed to characterize the relationship between HLA class II allelic diversity and IgE sensitization in an understudied Arab population.

Methods: We explored associations between IgE sensitization to 7 allergen mixes and mesquite (comprising 41 food or aeroallergens) and 45 common classical HLA class II alleles in a well-defined cohort of 797 individuals representing the general adult population of Qatari nationals and long-term residents. To do so, we performed HLA calling from whole genome sequencing data at 2-field resolution using 2 independent algorithms. We then applied 3 different regression models to assess either each allergen mix independently, in the context of IgE sensitization to other allergens tested, or polysensitization.

Results: More than half (n 5 447) of the study participants showed IgE sensitization to at least 1 allergen, most of them (n 5 400) to aeroallergens (Phadiatop). We identified statistically significant negative and positive associations with 24 HLA class II alleles. These have been reported to confer risk or protection from variety of diseases; however, only a few have previously been associated with allergy in other populations.

Conclusions: Our study reveals several new risk and protective genetic markers for allergen-specific IgE sensitization. This is a first and essential step toward a better understanding of the origins of allergic diseases in this understudied population. (J Allergy Clin Immunol Global 2023;2:100117.)


This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC- ND license (