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We evaluated the impact of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) disparity (immunogenicity; IM) on long-term kidney allograft survival. The IM was quantified based on physicochemical properties of the polymorphic linear donor/recipient HLA amino acids (the Cambridge algorithm) as a hydrophobic, electrostatic, amino acid mismatch scores (HMS\AMS\EMS) or eplet mismatch (EpMM) load. High-resolution HLA-A/B/DRB1/DQB1 types were imputed to calculate HMS for primary/re-transplant recipients of deceased donor transplants. The multiple Cox regression showed the association of HMS with graft survival and other confounders. The HMS integer 0-10 scale showed the most survival benefit between HMS 0 and 3. The Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that: the HMS=0 group had 18.1-year median graft survival, a 5-year benefit over HMS>0 group; HMS ≤ 3.0 had 16.7-year graft survival, a 3.8-year better than HMS>3.0 group; and, HMS ≤ 7.8 had 14.3-year grafts survival, a 1.8-year improvement over HMS>7.8 group. Stratification based on EMS, AMS or EpMM produced similar results. Additionally, the importance of HLA-DR with/without -DQ IM for graft survival was shown. In our simulation of 1,000 random donor/recipient pairs, 75% with HMS>3.0 were re-matched into HMS ≤ 3.0 and the remaining 25% into HMS≥7.8: after re-matching, the 13.5 years graft survival would increase to 16.3 years. This approach matches donors to recipients with low/medium IM donors thus preventing transplants with high IM donors.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Frontiers in Immunology