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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2001 Jul 1;27(3):277-80.

Mismatched human leukocyte antigen alleles protect against heterosexual HIV transmission.

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Centre for HIV Research, Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland.


Genetic variation at the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) loci has been shown to be an important risk factor for progression to HIV disease, but its significance in infection is less well understood. We have investigated its role in HIV transmission in a cohort of individuals at risk for heterosexual infection. Analysis of over 80 individuals revealed that that the degree of concordance at HLA A, B, and DR loci differs significantly between transmitting and nontransmitting couples at risk for heterosexual HIV transmission (p <.02), suggesting that allogeneic immune responses may confer a degree of protection against HIV infection. Analysis of the frequencies of specific alleles at the A, B, and DR loci revealed a significantly higher frequency of HLA DR5 among exposed uninfected individuals, relative to population controls.

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