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Tissue Antigens. 2009 Apr;73(4):289-301. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0039.2009.01220.x.

Genetic determinants of HIV-1 infection and progression to AIDS: susceptibility to HIV infection.

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  • 1Department of Transplant Immunology and Immunogenetics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


Interindividual variability in susceptibility to HIV-1 infection, its transmission, disease progression, and response to antiviral therapy has been attributed to host determinants and variability in multiple genes. Although most people exposed to the virus go on to develop full-blown disease at variable intervals, a proportion of them, labeled as long-term nonprogressors or exposed uninfected, possess 'natural resistance' to infection. A better understanding of genetic and immunologic basis of such a natural resistance to infection would bear important implications in designing therapeutic vaccine designs. The genetic variants that could influence susceptibility to HIV-1 and limit AIDS vary in different populations and among individuals. Meta-analyses of large cohort studies have identified numerous 'AIDS restriction genes' that regulate HIV cell entry (particularly chemokine coreceptors and their ligands), acquired and innate immunity (major histocompatibility complex, killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor, and cytokines), and others [tripartite interaction motif 5 alpha (TRIM5alpha) and apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide-like 3G] that influence outcome of HIV infection. Studies carried out in the Indian population with regard to genetic polymorphisms in chemokine receptors have shown that (i) the protective CCR5 Delta32 variant is rare, (ii) CCR5HHE carrying *59402A is associated with increased likelihood of infection and development of AIDS, and (iii) the Indian population generally has low CCL3L1 copy numbers (approximately 2.3). These data have implications in developing screening tests that could identify people at higher or lower risk of infection and rate of disease progression, predict vaccine responsiveness in clinical trials and understand the pathogenic mechanisms.

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