Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-C and its association with HIV-1 transmission in discordant couple and mother-to-child cohorts
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Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules play a key role in regulating the immune response towards infectious agents like human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1). They have been shown to influence transmission as well as the progression of HIV-1 towards acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Roles of HLA-A and HLA-B have been documented extensively; however, HLA-C has been poorly studied. In the present study, we have evaluated the role of HLA-C in discordant couple and mother-to-child cohorts. HLA-C*07 was higher both in HIV-1-infected spouses and infants as compared to exposed uninfected spouses and infants. However, this was not significant. HLA-C*15 was significantly higher in HIV-1-exposed uninfected babies as compared to infected babies. Lack of treatment in mothers and breastfeeding were significantly associated with HIV-1 transmission. HLA-C*07 may be a susceptible allele in HIV-1 transmission, whereas HLA-C*15 may be a protective allele in mother-to-child cohorts, independent of feeding options and treatment. These findings could be important in targeting immune responses via population-specific vaccine strategies against HIV-1.
KeywordsHuman leukocyte antigen HIV-1 transmission HLA-C Discordant couple cohort Mother-to-child cohort
We thank Ms. Shilpa Kerkar for her help in sample collection and the counselling staff at the collaborating hospital for their help in recruiting patients and their follow-up. NSB is supported by the University Grants Commission - Senior Research Fellowship (UGC-SRF).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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