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Hum Immunol. 2005 Mar;66(3):285-9.

Interaction between KIR3DL1 and HLA-B*57 supertype alleles influences the progression of HIV-1 infection in a Zambian population.

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Department of Immunology, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain.


KIR and HLA loci are both highly polymorphic, and some HLA class 1 products bind and trigger cell-surface receptors specified by KIR genes. We examined whether KIR genes act in concert with HLA-B locus to control HIV-1 infection in a sample of Zambian patients. DNA samples from 88 Zambian patients with HIV-1 were examined. Patients were classified as either slow progressors (SP; n = 54) or rapid progressors (RP; n = 34) to AIDS. All were typed for HLA-B and KIR genes. Our results reveal an association between B*57 supertype (B*57s, which includes B*57 and B*58 alleles) and delayed progression to AIDS (p = 0.0007 by pc = 0.015; OR = 5.25). We also observed an increase incidence of Bw4-I80 in patients with slow progression (p = 0.001 by pc = 0.003, OR = 5). This increase was found to be secondary to B*57s. The presence of both KIR3DL1 and B*57S has a significant effect on progression to AIDS (p = 0.0008; OR = 5.61). B*57s genotypes with another HLA-B allele different from those in the trans position, which also had a specificity different to Bw4-I80 (Bw4-T80 or Bw6), was also greater in the SP than in the RP group (p = 0.00003; OR = 10.11). The presence of the inhibitory allele KIR3DL1 in combination with the HLA-B*57s alleles that contain the Bw4-I80 epitope, has a highly protective effect against progression to AIDS in Zambian patients.

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