KIR Genotypes

As well as assigning unique designations to KIR haplotypes the KIR Nomenclature committee thought it useful to provide a nomenclature system to describe KIR genotypes (1). It was suggested that each genotype would be indicated by the prefix 'KG' followed by a hyphen, in turn followed by a unique four-digit number. This would then be followed by an optional hyphen and a 17-digit binary code. As in the naming of haplotypes, the binary code would indicate the presence (1) or absence (0) of KIR genes in the genotype. So a KIR genotype may be written KG-0202-1110101101101111. The order of genes would be as used for the haplotype code.

Further refinements of this system to indicate the presence of null alleles or to demonstrate homozygosity of alleles have been suggested. However, in the short term it has been recommended that the community gains familiarity with the system as proposed before implementing any additional complexity.

The nomenclature for KIR genotypes has not yet been implemented.

Details of a proposed Community Standard Reporting Format for KIR Genotyping Data are discussed further here.


All references are linked to the PubMed abstract where possible.

  1. Marsh SGE, Parham P, Dupont B, Geraghty DE, Trowsdale J, Middleton D, Vilches C, Carrington M, Witt C, Guethlein LA, Shilling H, Garcia CA, Hsu KC, Wain H.
    Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIR) Nomenclature Report, 2002
    Tissue Antigens (2003) 62:79-86 (Abstract)
    Immunogenetics (2003) 55:220-226 (Abstract)
    Human Immunology (2003) 64:648-654 (Abstract)
    European Journal of Immunogenetics (2003) 30:229-234 (Abstract)
    Journal of Immunological Methods (2003) 281:1-8

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