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Genotyping can predict disease outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Date:6/13/2014

New cohort studies presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2014) have shown the amino acid valine at position 11 of HLA-DRB1 gene to be the strongest independent genetic determinant of radiological damage in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).1 In addition, positions 71 and 74 were found to represent independent predictors, with the three positions together: 11, 71 and 74 strongly associated with disease outcomes.1

According to lead author Dr Sebastien Viatte of the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Genetics and Genomics, Manchester, United Kingdom, "this major advance in genetics might allow stratification of RA patients at the onset of their disease to identify those at risk of joint damage and early death, and also those who are more likely to respond to anti-TNF biological therapy."

RA is a common chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease characterised by inflammation of synovial joints leading to damage to the inside of the joint and surrounding soft tissues. The cause of RA is largely unknown, but both environmental factors and genetic susceptibility appear to be involved.

Although the prevalence of RA is relatively constant in most countries at between 0.5-1.0 percent, the higher occurrence among native American-Indian populations and very low occurrence in China and Japan supports the strong influence of genotype on the epidemiology.2 Previously, a group of alleles on the HLA DRB1 gene, known as the 'shared epitope' was thought to have the strongest effect on RA susceptibility. More recently, position 11 outside the classical shared epitope had been shown to be a stronger predictor of RA susceptibility.3

"This new evidence from our multi-centre cohort studies has shown that positions 11, 71 and 74 on the HLA-DRB1 gene now supersede the classical shared epitope," Dr Viatte concluded. Three independent multi-centre prospective cohort studies: the Norfolk Arthritis Register-NOAR (1691 patie
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Contact: EULAR Press Office
eularpressoffice@cohnwolfe.com
44-078-801-73209
European League Against Rheumatism
Source:Eurekalert

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