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August 11, 1978

HLA-Bw51 and Behçet's Disease

Author Affiliations

Hokkaido University School of Medicine Sapporo, Japan
Asahikawa Medical College Asahikawa, Japan

JAMA. 1978;240(6):529. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290060031006

To the Editor.—  Regarding the association of HLA antigens with disease, we have demonstrated that Japanese patients with Behçet's disease have a significantly higher frequency of HLA-B5 than their controls.1,2 This genetically determined association between HLA-B5 and Behçet's disease was also confirmed among the French, Jewish, Tunisian, and Turkish cases.3 According to the epidemiologic survey, this disease is known to occur most frequently among the Japanese and Mediterranean populations, where the frequency of HLA-B5 is equally high.Recently it has been shown that HLA-B5 antigen is of a heterogeneous nature and may be divided into at least two subcomponents, HLA-Bw51 and HLA-Bw52. Since HLA-Bw52 is frequent almost equally to the counterpart among the Japanese but rather rare among whites, we suspected that the close association of HLA-B5 and Behçet's disease may be due to that of HLA-Bw52 and this disease. Twelve male and 11 female patients with this