HLA-B27: Genetic Variants That Increase Susceptibility to Autoimmune Diseases

Our immune system does an awesome job, most of the time, at fighting off pathogenic bacteria and viruses. But to fight off these pathogens, the body needs to know that they are the bad guys.¬† One part of our immune system is the major histocompatibility complex, also known as HLA, or human leukocyte antigens. The HLA genes produce proteins that, as part of our innate immune system, help our body determine what is a foreign invader that needs to be attacked. There are many different HLA serotypes that people can have, giving us all slightly different strengths and weaknesses against microbial diseases. But along with attacking foreign invaders, a handful of HLA types also increase the susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, where the body attacks its own cells. (more…)

By Debbie Moon, ago

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