Nomenclature of HLA Typings: Example

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course The Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) System. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about The Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) System (online CE course)
Nomenclature of HLA Typings: Example

Using the example shown to the right, four fields can be seen and are separated by colons. Naming of an HLA antigen begins with the HLA loci/gene: HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, HLA-DP, HLA DQ, or HLA-DR, etc. An asterisk is used to separate the gene locus from the first field.
  • The first field is the serological antigen/allele group of HLA glycoprotein.
  • The second field denotes individual allele variants that are within the first field allele group.
  • The third field involves nucleotide substitutions which may or may not be silent mutations.
  • The fourth field is reserved for non-coding exon and untranslated regions (UTR) of the DNA molecule.
Letters may accompany DNA typing and are related to their expression levels.
Why is this level of detail for nomenclature necessary?
With higher resolution of HLA typing, laboratories can predict matching, and resolve ambiguities better. This translates into better patient outcomes for solid organ and bone marrow transplantations. For more information, visit this website.