HLA-B evolutionary divergence is associated with outcomes after SARS-CoV-2 infection

Patricia V. Hernandez, Brian Duffy, Karl Hock, Christopher Farnsworth, Emily Schindler, Chang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the correlation between class I HLA evolutionary divergence (HED), a surrogate for the capacity to present different peptides, and the outcomes of 234 adult inpatients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood and genotyped by next-generation sequencing (NGS). HED scores for HLA class I (HLA-A, -B, and -C) genotypes were calculated using Grantham's distance. Higher HED scores for HLA-B, but not HLA-A or -C, are significantly associated with a decreased probability of poor outcomes including ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, and death (OR = 0.93; P = 0.04) in the univariate analysis. In the multivariate analysis, increased HLA-B HED score, younger age, and no comorbidity were independently associated with favorable outcomes (P = 0.02, P = 0.01, and P = 0.05, respectively). This finding is consistent with the notion that broader peptide repertoires presented by class I HLA may be beneficial in infection control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-807
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Grantham's distance
  • HLA Evolutionary divergence
  • HLA class I
  • HLA-B


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