HLA-DR15: distribution map, subtypes, SNPs and associated medical conditions


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Here is a map showing the allele frequency of HLA-DR15. The maximum frequencies are observed in the Pasiegos of Cantabria in northern Spain (32%), the Chuvash of the Volga region (19.5%), Ireland (18.5%), Denmark (18.5%), Brittany (18%), Orkney (18%), Norway (15.5%) and Sweden (15.5%).


DR15 is particularly common in the Celtic fringe of north-west Europe, in Germanic Scandinavia, and in northwest Russia, all regions which share a high incidence for red hair, although it may just be a coincidence.

These are also regions with high frequencies of Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) admixture. Were it not for north-west Africa, the correlation would be quite good. It should be taken in consideration that all North Europeans belong to the subclade DRB1*15:01, while four subclades are present in North Africa and only about half of the North African DR15 is DRB1*15:01.


Medical associations

DR15 is positively associated Goodpasture syndrome, early age onset multiple sclerosis, pernicious anaemia, sarcoidosis, hypocretin deficiency associated narcolepsy, and a predisposition for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

DRB1*1501 more specifically is also associated with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, cervical cancer (human papillomavirus infection), and Sjogren's syndrome associated with systemic lupus erythematosus.


You can verify if you carry HLA-DR15 by checking your raw data from 23andMe or Geno 2.0. There are eight subclades (15:01 to 15:08) but almost all Europeans belong to 15:01, except a small minority people in Bulgaria, Macedonia and northern Greece who have Asian subclades as well.

- DRB1*15:01 : rs3135388 (T means DR15)

Link to prehistoric populations

I have checked the SNP in a dozen Neolithic and Bronze Age genomes from Haak et al. 2015 and other papers. Two individuals were positive for DR15, one from Neolithic Halberstadt (I0099) and one Corded Ware sample (I0104).
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And how do we find that in our FF autosomal file?

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