Uveitis phenotypes can differ substantially, and most uveitis diseases are considered polygenic with complex inheritance patterns. When considering the genetics of these diseases, common threads can be identified. For example, in virtually every polygenic disease studied, there exists an HLA genetic association. This association can be strong, such as the associations of HLA-B27 with AAU and HLA-A29 with BSCR; or it can be more subtle, involving several HLA genes or a combination of HLA genes that compose specific haplotypes. In many of these conditions, it is hypothesized that genes other than classic MHC genes but located at the MHC locus may be important susceptibility genes. Genome-wide scans and other genetic methods are becoming increasingly successful in identifying genetic loci and candidate genes in many inflammatory disorders that have an uveitic component. It will be important to test these findings as uveitis-specific genetic factors. Therefore, the burgeoning understanding of the human genome promises to result in new insight into the pathogenesis of uveitis.
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