Imperial Collage Healthcare

HLA-B*57:01 (B57)

Test Background
Most patients can safely take abacavir; however, a small number of patients experience a severe side effect known as abacavir hypersensitivity. The most common symptoms are skin rash, fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. About 5% of patients who take abacavir experience abacavir hypersensitivity. This reaction can sometimes be very serious and in some cases can cause death. Patients who are HLA-B*57:01 are much more likely to have this reaction than patients who do not. Therefore, patients with the HLA-B*57:01 gene should not take abacavir. Approximately 5-8% of Europeans, 1-2% of Asians, and 2% of Africans have this gene.

Clinical Indications

Screening for Abacavir Hypersensitivity

Reference Range

Sample Required
5-10 mL Whole Blood

Sample Container
EDTA  ( 6 ml pink top)

Sample Volume
5 mls

Samples must be sent via first class post or courier

Turnaround Time
14 days


Samples must be sent via first class post or courier

The laboratory is accredited for this test by the European Federation of Immunogenetics (EFI) however due to a change in platform it is currently awaiting UKAS accreditation under extension to scope.

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