Association of propionibacterium acnes endophthalmitis with HLA-DQw5

Janet L. Davis, Kirk R. Winward, Emilia C. Lonardo, Robert B. Nussenblatt, David M. Meisler, Tsung Dao Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: An HLA-DQ1 association has been suspected in patients who develop Propionibacterium acnes endophthalmitis following cataract surgery. New techniques exist which may help to define this association. Materials and Methods: Patients with culture-proven P. acnes endophthalmitis following cataract surgery were HLA-typed with new sera able to detect fine specificities in the HLA-DQ1 region and compared to a large number of racially-matched controls. Sequence-specific oligonucleotide typing with probes and primers designed to amplify and define the HLA-DQ1 region was then performed. P. acnes patients were compared to HLA-DQ1-matched controls who had undergone cataract surgery but had no evidence of chronic post-operative inflammation. Results: Thirteen of 15 P. acnes patients (87%) were serologically defined as carrying a split of DQw1 (DQw5 or DQw6). HLA DQw5 was increased to a statistically significant degree (p ≤ 0.014) with an odds ratio of 3.72 (95% confidence interval 1.34 to 10.31). Sequence-specific oligonucleotide typing confirmed the DQw5 predominance: Seventy-three percent of P. acnes patients had DQB1*0501 or DQB1*0503 vs. 33% of DQw1-matched cataract patients without inflammation (not significant). Conclusion: HLA-DQw5 is associated with the development of P. acnes endophthalmitis following cataract surgery. The molecular mechanism of this association is unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalOcular Immunology and Inflammation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


  • Cataract surgery
  • Endophthalmitis
  • HLA-DQw5
  • Propionibacterium acnes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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