HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) molecules, are molecules on the surface of somatic cells and play an important role in differentiating between the body's own and foreign structures, and therefore, for the immune response of the body.
In transplantation medicine the success of transplantations often depends on the matching of the HLA types of the donor and the recipient. The presence of HLA antibodies (e.g. after blood transfusions) might be important as well.
Therefore, the HLA types of the donor and the recipient are typed before an organ or stem cell transplantation is carried out.
There are some diseases (e.g Morbus Bechterew, coeliac disease, narcolepsy) that are associated with certain HLA alleles. In these cases HLA typing can be helpful to support the diagnosis.
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