Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 268-273

Genetic susceptibility for celiac disease is highly prevalent in the Saudi population

1 Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Children's Specialized Hospital, King Fahad Medical City; College of Medicine, Alfaisal University; Prince Abdullah bin Khalid Celiac Disease Research Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Division of Immunology, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Immunology, University of Mohammed VI for health sciences, Casablanca, Morocco

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Hussaini
Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Children's Specialized Hospital, King Fahad Medical City, College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjg.SJG_551_17

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Background/Aim: To determine the frequency of celiac disease (CD)-predisposing human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DQ genotypes in the Saudi population, where the prevalence of CD is 1.5% as recently reported in a mass screening study. Patients and Methods: In a cross-sectional population-based study, a total of 192 randomly selected healthy school children (97 females, mean age 10.5 ± 2.2 years, all negative for tissue transglutaminase-IgA) were typed for D QA1 and D QB1 genes by polymerase chain reaction sequence–specific oligonucleotide probes. Results: Of the 192 children, 52.7% carried the high-risk CD-associated HLA-DQ molecules: homozygous DQ2.5 ( 2.6%), DQ2.5/DQ2.2 ( 4.7%), heterozygous DQ2.5 ( 28.15%), homozygous DQ8 ( 4.2%), DQ8/DQ2.2 ( 3.6%), and double dose DQ2.2 ( 9.4%). Low-risk CD-associated HLA-DQ molecules (single dose DQ2.2 and heterozygous DQ8) constituted 3.6% and 9.4%, respectively. Among the very low–risk groups, individuals lacking alleles that contribute to DQ2/DQ8 variants (33.5%), 13.5% carried only one of the alleles of the high-risk HLA-DQ2.5 heterodimer called “half-heterodimer” (HLA-DQA1*05 in 12% and HLA-DQB1* 02 in 1.5%), and 20.8% lacked all the susceptible alleles (DQX.x). Gender distribution was not significantly different among the CD-risk groups. Conclusion: We report one of the highest frequencies of CD-predisposing HLA-DQ genotypes among healthy general populations (52.7%) worldwide, which might partly explain the high prevalence of CD in the Saudi community.

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