About the IMGT/HLA Database

The IMGT/HLA Database currently contains 13,412 allele sequences. In addition to the physical sequences the database contains detailed information concerning the material from which the sequence was derived and data on the validation of the sequences. It is now established procedure for authors to submit the sequences directly to the IMGT/HLA Database for checking and assignment of an official name prior to publication, this avoids the problems associated with renaming published sequences and the confusion of multiple names for the same sequence. The need for reasonably rapid publication of new HLA allele sequences has necessitated an annual meeting of the WHO Nomenclature Committee for Factors of the HLA System. Additionally we now publish monthly HLA nomenclature updates both in journals and online to provide quick and easy access to new sequence information.

In collaboration with the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF, now Cancer Research UK) and European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) we have developed an Oracle® database to house the HLA sequences in such a way as to allow users to present complex queries about the sequence, sequence features, references, contacts and allele designations to the database via a graphical user interface over the web. The initial development of this database was been funded by collaborative European Union BIOMED1 (BIOCT930038) and BIOTECH2 (BIO4CT960037) grants awarded to the ICRF as part of the International ImMunoGeneTics (IMGT) databases. The work on the HLA database was done in collaboration with Julia Bodmer (ICRF), and James Robinson previously of the ICRF now at the ANRI and Peter Parham of Stanford University.

The graph below indicates the numbers of alleles named since 1987, up to the end of June 2015.

Graph showing numbers of antigens and alleles named by year from 1987 to the end of June 2015.
(A higher resolution version is available from here)

Collaborators and Development Team

The IMGT/HLA Database is currently maintained by the following:

Anthony Nolan Research Institute

  • Steven G. E. Marsh, BSc PhD ARCS
  • James Robinson, BSc MSc
  • James D Hayhurst, BSc
  • Anup R Soormally, BSc MSc

Other collaborators include;

The original design and development of the database was undertaken with Julia G. Bodmer, MA DSc Hon MRCP of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.



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