Research to Practice Implications of High-Risk Genotypes for Beryllium Sensitisation and Disease

Beryllium workers may better understand their genetic susceptibility to chronic beryllium disease (CBD) expressed as population-based prevalence, rather than odds ratios from case-control studies. During the present study, the authors calculated CBD prevalences from allele-specific DNA sequences of 853 workers for Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-DPB1 genotypes and groups characterised by number of E69-containing alleles and by calculated surface electronegativity of HLA-DPB1. Of 18 groups of at least 10 workers with specific genotypes, CBD prevalence was highest, 72.7%, for the HLA-DPB102:01:02/DPB117:01 genotype. Population-based grouped genotypes with two E69 alleles wherein one allele had -9 surface charge had a beryllium sensitisation (BeS) of 52.6% and a CBD prevalence of 42.1%. The high CBD and BeS prevalences associated with -9-charged E69 alleles and two E69s suggest that workers may benefit from knowing their genetic susceptibility in deciding whether to avoid future beryllium exposure.

Authors: Kreiss K, Fechter-Leggett ED, McCanlies EC, Schuler CR, Weston A. ;Full Source: Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 2016 Jul 12. [Epub ahead of print] ;