BackgroundMultiple sclerosis is an immune mediated disease targeting the central nervous system. Association of non-human leukocyte antigen gene, CD58, with multiple sclerosis has been reported in several populations but is unclear among Southeast Asians. This pilot study was conducted to explore the association between CD58 polymorphism and multiple sclerosis among the Malay population in Malaysia.MethodsBlood samples were collected from 27 multiple sclerosis patients, and compared with 58 age- and gender matched healthy individuals. All patients were tested negative for anti-aquaporin 4. DNA was extracted from the blood and genotyped for 3 single nucleotide polymorphisms rs12044852, rs2300747 and rs1335532 of gene CD58 by real-time PCR.ResultsThe majority of multiple sclerosis patients were female (85.2%). The general mean age of onset was 30.5 years. Genotyping results showed that frequencies of the alleles were between 40 and 50% for MS patients and healthy individuals. Association (allelic model) between multiple sclerosis and CD58 gene polymorphism alleles rs12044852 (p = 0.410), rs2300747 (p = 0.881) and rs1335532 (p = 0.407) were indistinct.ConclusionsThe impact of the CD58 gene polymorphism was not prominent in this pilot study, implying that genetic composition contributing to multiple sclerosis may be different between different populations, thus results in a heterogeneity of disease manifestation and distribution.