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Lancet. 2004 Jun 26;363(9427):2137-9.

Transmission of HIV-1 and HLA-B allele-sharing within serodiscordant heterosexual Zambian couples.

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Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-0022, USA.


Factors that might increase risk of HIV-1 transmission include age, sex, and amount of HIV-1 RNA in plasma, but findings for HLA allele-sharing are not in agreement. We tested the hypothesis that allele sharing at HLA loci is associated with increased risk of transmission of HIV-1 infection in cohabiting heterosexual Zambian couples. We studied 125 initially serodiscordant partners with sequence-confirmed interpartner HIV-1 transmission and 104 couples who were persistently serodiscordant, and we analysed relations with molecularly typed HLA-A, B, and C alleles by survival techniques. After adjustment for other genetic and non-genetic risk factors seen with heterosexual transmission of HIV-1 in this cohort, sharing of HLA-B alleles was independently associated with accelerated intracouple transmission (relative hazard 2.23, 95% CI 1.52-3.26, p<0.0001). Selective pressure by HLA-B alleles on transmitted viruses accords with current understanding of the effect of B locus polymorphism in HIV-1 and perhaps other infections.

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