HLA-B*5701

HLA (human leukocyte antigen) genes play an important role in the immune system. They help the immune system to identify and respond to foreign substances, such as bacteria and viruses. The following drugs may have serious side effects under the influence of a mutation in the HLA-B*5701 gene:

  • Abacavir. This antiviral drug is used to treat HIV infections and AIDS. Hypersensitivity reactions, which occur in around 50% of HLA-B*5701 carriers, can even be life-threatening.
  • Flucloxacillin. This antibiotic is used to treat skin infections by gram-positive bacteria. A small proportion of HLA-B*5701 carriers (1 in 500 to 1,000) can suffer serious liver damage.

Abacavir and the HLA-B*5701 gene

Your individual risk of side effects in the event of treatment with abacavir may be partly explained by genetic variations. It is known, for example, that mutations in the HLA-B*5701 gene may be partly responsible.

If you are HLA-B5701 positive, the risk of severe side effects resulting from an abacavir treatment is significantly increased. Studies show that hypersensitivity reactions occur in 48 to 61% of people who are HLA-B5701 positive. People who are HLA-B*5701 negative hardly ever experience hypersensitivity reactions. Mild side effects may occur in people of either genotype.

HLA-B*5701 positivity is found in around 4 to 5% of the European population, in 0 to 2.5% of the population in China and Japan, and in 5 to 20% of the Indian population. Information about your genetic predisposition may therefore provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with abacavir.

Read more about Abacavir »

Flucloxacillin and the HLA-B*5701 gene

Your individual risk of side effects in the event of treatment with flucloxacillin may be partly explained by genetic variations. It is known, for example, that mutations in the HLA-B*5701 gene may be partly responsible.

If you are HLA-B*5701 positive, the risk of severe liver damage is increased. The absolute risk of liver damage remains extremely small: roughly 1 in 500 to 1,000 carriers will actually suffer liver damage.

Information about your genetic predisposition may provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with flucloxacillin.

Read more about Flucloxacillin »

Genetic predisposition Your individual risk of serious side effects of abacavir or flucloxacillin may be partly explained by genetic variations. It is known, for example, that mutations in the HLA-B*5701 gene may be partly responsible. HLA-B*5701 positivity is found in around 4 to 12% of the European population. It is found in 0 to 3% of the population in China and Japan and in 10 to 30% of the Indian population.

At iGene we determine the following genotypes:

  • HLA-B*5701 negative: *NEG/*NEG
  • HLA-B*5701 positive: *NEG/*POS (heterozygous)
  • HLA-B*5701 positive: *POS/*POS (homozygous)

For this we use the marker rs2395029.

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