Abacavir and the HLA-B*5701 gene
Your individual risk of side effects in the event of treatment with abacavir may be partly explained by genetic variations. It is known, for example, that mutations in the HLA-B*5701 gene may be partly responsible.
If you are HLA-B*5701 positive, the risk of severe side effects resulting from an abacavir treatment is significantly increased. Studies show that hypersensitivity reactions occur in 48 to 61% of people who are HLA-B*5701 positive. People who are HLA-B*5701 negative hardly ever experience hypersensitivity reactions. Mild side effects may occur in people of either genotype.
HLA-B*5701 positivity is found in around 4 to 5% of the European population, in 0 to 2.5% of the population in China and Japan, and in 5 to 20% of the Indian population. Information about your genetic predisposition may therefore provide grounds for extra vigilance in relation to a treatment with abacavir.
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