Common HLA Alleles associated with health, but not with facial attractiveness

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dc.contributor.author Coetzee, Vinet
dc.contributor.author Barrett, Louise
dc.contributor.author Greeff, Jaco M. (Jacobus Maree)
dc.contributor.author Henzi, S. Peter
dc.contributor.author Perrett, David Ian
dc.contributor.author Wadee, Ahmed A.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-06-22T11:51:54Z
dc.date.available 2010-06-22T11:51:54Z
dc.date.issued 2007-07
dc.description.abstract Three adaptive hypotheses have been proposed to explain the link between the human leucocyte antigen (HLA) genes, health measures and facial attractiveness: inbreeding avoidance, heterozygote advantage and frequency-dependent selection. This paper reports findings that support a new hypothesis relating HLA to health. We suggest a new method to quantify the level of heterozygosity. HLA heterozygosity did not significantly predict health measures in women, but allele frequency did. Women with more common HLA alleles reported fewer cold and flu bouts per year, fewer illnesses in the previous year and rated themselves healthier than women with rare alleles. To our knowledge, this is the first study to show a positive correlation between HLA allele frequency and general health measures. We propose that certain common HLA alleles confer resistance to prevalent pathogens. Nevertheless, neither HLA heterozygosity nor allele frequency significantly predicted how healthy or attractive men rated the female volunteers. Three non-mutually exclusive explanations are put forward to explain this finding. en
dc.description.sponsorship This material is based, in part, upon work supported by the National Research Foundation under Grant number 2053809 to JMG. en_US
dc.identifier.citation Citation: Coetzee V, Barrett L, Greeff JM, Henzi SP, Perrett DI, et al (2007) Common HLA Alleles Associated with Health, but Not with Facial Attractiveness. PLoS ONE 2(7): e640. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000640 [http://www.plosone.org] en
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203
dc.identifier.other 10.1371/journal.pone.0000640
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/14318
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_US
dc.rights © 2009 Coetzee et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. en_US
dc.subject Common HLA Alleles en
dc.subject Facial attractiveness en
dc.subject Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) en
dc.subject.lcsh HLA histocompatibility antigens en
dc.subject.lcsh Allelomorphism en
dc.subject.lcsh Health behavior en
dc.subject.lcsh Heterozygosity en
dc.title Common HLA Alleles associated with health, but not with facial attractiveness en
dc.type Article en


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