Mathematical Biosciences

A mathematical analysis of human leukocyte antigen serology

View publication


This paper presents and explores a comprehensive mathematical model for human leukocyte antigen serology, based on a mathematical formalization of the concept of specificity. This model is general enough to take into account such factors as absorption, elution, cross-reactivity, and incomplete immunization. The paper includes a presentation of the relevant immunological background and a short discussion of the underlying computational difficulty of the basic problems. Upper and lower bounds are derived for the minimal number of specificities required to explain a given set of HLA reactions, and it is shown that the numbers of antibodies and antigens involved must be no less then this minimal number of specificities. Other techniques and theorems are also presented to aid in reducing and analyzing HLA reaction matrices. © 1978.