Knowledge of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) allele frequencies is essential for bone marrow and kidney donor searches. The Romanian Caucasian population is heterogeneous and information on HLA polymorphism has not been well studied. We characterized the HLA genetic profile and allele frequencies of regional populations in Romania. HLA-A, B and DRB1 alleles were examined in 8252 individuals, belonging to the four main regions of Romania. The most common alleles found in the Romanian population are: HLA-A*01, A*02, A*03, A*11, A*24; HLA-B*18, B*35, B*44, B*51 and HLA-DRB1*01, DRB1*03, DRB1*07, DRB1*11, DRB1*13, DRB1*15, DRB1*16. More than half of the alleles are non-homogeneously spread in Romania.These results provide a starting point for future analyses of genetic heterogeneity in Romania.

Dr. Ileana Constantinescu has started her medical activity as a PhD fellow at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK, working on growth factors involved in the pathogenesis of pituitary tumours. Her interest centres arround transplantation immunology, cancer immunology and virology. She has concentrated her efforts on three challenging topics: immunogenetics, new biomarkers, new genes involved in early cancer diagnosis, prognosis, immune system genetics in various diseases. At present she is an Editor-in-chief at Immunogenetics: Open Access Journal and professor of immunology at Carol Davila Medical and Pharmacy University, Bucharest, Romania.