A multi-site study using high-resolution HLA genotyping by next generation sequencing

C. L. Holcomb, B. Höglund, M. W. Anderson, L. A. Blake, I. Böhme, M. Egholm, D. Ferriola, C. Gabriel, S. E. Gelber, D. Goodridge, S. Hawbecker, R. Klein, M. Ladner, C. Lind, D. Monos, M. J. Pando, J. Pröll, D. C. Sayer, G. Schmitz-Agheguian, B. B. SimenB. Thiele, E. A. Trachtenberg, D. B. Tyan, R. Wassmuth, S. White, H. A. Erlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


The high degree of polymorphism at human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and class II loci makes high-resolution HLA typing challenging. Current typing methods, including Sanger sequencing, yield ambiguous typing results because of incomplete genomic coverage and inability to set phase for HLA allele determination. The 454 Life Sciences Genome Sequencer (GS FLX) next generation sequencing system coupled with conexio atf software can provide very high-resolution HLA genotyping. High-throughput genotyping can be achieved by use of primers with multiplex identifier (MID) tags to allow pooling of the amplicons generated from different individuals prior to sequencing. We have conducted a double-blind study in which eight laboratory sites performed amplicon sequencing using GS FLX standard chemistry and genotyped the same 20 samples for HLA-A, -B, -C, DPB1, DQA1, DQB1, DRB1, DRB3, DRB4, and DRB5 (DRB3/4/5) in a single sequencing run. The average sequence read length was 250 base pairs and the average number of sequence reads per amplicon was 672, providing confidence in the allele assignments. Of the 1280 genotypes considered, assignment was possible in 95% of the cases. Failure to assign genotypes was the result of researcher procedural error or the presence of a novel allele rather than a failure of sequencing technology. Concordance with known genotypes, in cases where assignment was possible, ranged from 95.3% to 99.4% for the eight sites, with overall concordance of 97.2%. We conclude that clonal pyrosequencing using the GS FLX platform and conexio atf software allows reliable identification of HLA genotypes at high resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-217
Number of pages12
JournalTissue Antigens
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • DNA sequencing
  • Genome Sequencer FLX
  • Human leukocyte antigen genotyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics


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