Finding a genetically compatible lover - it's now possible !


Veteran member
Reaction score
Ethnic group
GenePartner, a Swiss start-up company, now offer a formula to match men and women by analyzing specific genes in their DNA.

It has been known for quite some time now that attraction between two individuals depends highly on the compatibility of the immune system, which our body advertises through pheromones.

For about 150 euro you can get a genetic profile of your HLA molecules, which controls the activation of immune reactions. People with the most different HLA genes will feel the most strongly attracted, and will have children with a more efficient immune system than a couple with similar HLA genes.

GenePartner provides a genetic database with the HLA types of all its customers, allowing people to find easily the most compatible matches. According to their website "genetic compatibility results in an increased likelihood of forming an enduring and successful relationship".

In other words, people who are already in a long-term relationship can also compare their results to confirm whether their immune system is complementary.

It is likely that the future of online dating websites will integrate this kind of test as one of its key features. The recurrent problem of online dating so far has been that individuals had no idea about the actual "chemistry" with the other person until they eventually meet. This is definitely a way of saving time and eliminating incompatible matches.
Scientific Match, a US-based company offers similar services, although much more expensive.

They advertise the reasons to use DNA matching this way :

  • Chances are increased that you’ll love the natural body fragrance of your matches.
  • You have a greater chance of a more satisfying sex life.
  • Women tend to enjoy a higher rate of orgasms with their partners.
  • Women have a much lower chance of cheating in their exclusive relationships.
  • Couples tend to have higher rates of fertility.
  • All other things being equal, couples have a greater chance of having healthier children with more robust immune systems.
23andMe also provides an application to compare the compatibility of immune systems (HLA and more) between individuals. The main advantage is that the risk factors for autoimmune diseases and allergies is also calculated, along with many other genetic medical conditions. It also gives information about one's ancestry. For 2.5x the price, I'd vote in favour the 23andMe test.
Here is an article on the New Scientist inspired by this topic.

The author conducted her own experiment by taking the GenePartner and Scientific Match tests for her, her fiancé and her male colleagues. She also did the t-shirt smell test. However there were some discrepancies between the HLA compatibility and liking of the smell.

Another study contradicts the HLA matching. It indicated that women prefer the faces of men with similar HLA types. This suggests that HLA has an influence on facial features, which I think is a bit too far-fetched. It is more likely that they prefer faces of people with other genes similar to their own, and that in that particular study they happened to coincide with HLA genes similarity.

Similar or opposite ?

In the relationships between men and women, both similarities and opposites can be attractive, but not about the same things. We like and feel comfortable around people who have a similar socio-economic level, similar values, and maybe also similar hobbies or interests.

But genders also need to complete each others. If some of our genes are defective, we are likely to be attracted by people who do not share these "bad" genes. It is not always obvious. You wouldn't want to have children with a carrier of cystic fibrosis if you are a carrier yourself.

It is part of our evolution that men are specialised for some tasks (like hunting, fighting, or leading) and women in others (home-making, cooking, caring for the young and the sick). That is why male and female brains, and therefore also skills and emotions, have evolved to be different. Such gender differences are desirable, which is why men usually prefer very feminine women, and women virile men, so as optimised the chances of survival. This may be useless in modern society, but our bodies are still configured like this, whether we want it or not. Attraction has generally more to do with primitive lifestyle than modern lifestyle.

The right HLA combination

It makes sense that people with different immune systems should be more attracted, unless some HLA combinations can cause autoimmune diseases.

There are too many HLA combinations (hundreds of thousands) to know exactly what are the bad combinations, but some have been known to exist. For example, early onset ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is most likely to occur in people with the combination HLA-B7 and HLA-B27.

It would be interesting to know whether the human body is able to predict such risk. Would a carrier of HLA-B27 be repulsed by the smell of someone who carries the HLA-B7 gene, or vice-versa ? I am hoping it does. It would mean that our body instinctively know what is good or bad. This way, we could try to find out noxious combinations by asking people of selected HLA types to smell someone else's t-shirt and give some feedback. If all or most people with HLA-B27 dislike the smell of people with HLA-B7, then we would know that such types are not meant to procreate together.

To test or not to test ?

I think it is still too early for companies like GenePartner to know for sure that people will feel attracted based on their HLA types. But I encourage couples who are strongly in love and like their mutual smell to take a test to know their HLA types for the purpose of research.

Unfortunately GenePartner does not reveal one's HLA types - only the percentage of compatibility with other members. The best way to know your HLA types for free is to donate stem cells. Contact your local Red Cross' blood donation centre and ask to donate stem cells. They will automatically do a HLA test. In some countries your HLA types will be mentioned on your donor's card. In others you will need to call them and ask a few weeks after donating. In yet others, you will have to ask your family doctor to get the results for you (e.g. by emailing the lab).
Last edited:
A new study confirms that we are attracted to people with different HLA from our own.

=> Dienekes' blog : MHC-dissimilar mating in Brazil

The scientists studied MHC data from 90 married couples, and compared them with 152 randomly-generated control couples. They counted the number of MHC dissimilarities among those who were real couples, and compared them with those in the randomly-generated 'virtual couples'. "If MHC genes did not influence mate selection", says Professor Bicalho, "we would have expected to see similar results from both sets of couples. But we found that the real partners had significantly more MHC dissimilarities than we could have expected to find simply by chance."
"Although it may be tempting to think that humans choose their partners because of their similarities", says Professor Bicalho, "our research has shown clearly that it is differences that make for successful reproduction, and that the subconscious drive to have healthy children is important when choosing a mate."

The scientists believe that their findings will help understanding of conception, fertility, and gestational failures. Research has already shown that couples with similar MHC genes had longer intervals between births, which could imply early, unperceived miscarriages. "We intend to follow up this work by looking at social and cultural influences as well as biological ones in mate choice, and relating these to the genetic diversity of the extended MHC region", says Professor Bicalho.

HLA constitutes the biggest part of MHC.
I think we should be a bit more cautious about genetics, it's almost hysterical sometimes on merchandise issues.

But I don't disagree completely on the attraction theories.
Stem cells are now being used in treating people with different medical cases. Genetic engineering is further developed but I agree with you that scientists should be really careful.
Maciamo, I made PCA graphs based on your HLA-A and HLA-DR data:


HLA-DR with Sardinia:


HLA-DR without Sardinia:


This thread has been viewed 18732 times.