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Genes Immun. 2015 Jul-Aug;16(5):362-5. doi: 10.1038/gene.2015.13. Epub 2015 Apr 30.

Toll-like receptor gene variants and bacterial vaginosis among HIV-1 infected and uninfected African women.

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  • 1Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
  • 2Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
  • 3Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Nairobi, Kenya; Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST), Kakamega, Kenya; Consortium for National Health Research (CNHR), Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 4Department of Anthropology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
  • 5Department of Global Health and Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
  • 6Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
  • 7Department of Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
  • 81] Department of Medicine, Laboratory Medicine and Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA [2] Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA.
  • 9Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 10Departments of Medical Microbiology and Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitob, Canada.
  • 11Perinatal HIV Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, Soweto, South Africa.


Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common vaginal syndrome associated with altered microflora that increases the risk of preterm delivery and acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases. The cause of BV is unknown although toll-like receptors (TLRs), that are central to innate immune responses, may be important. We evaluated associations between TLR SNPs and BV among HIV-1 infected and uninfected African women. Logistic regression was used to assess associations between SNPs (N=99) in TLRs 2-4, 7-9 and BV (as classified by Nugent's criteria). Among HIV-1 uninfected women, TLR7 rs5743737 and TLR7 rs1634323 were associated with a decreased risk of BV, whereas TLR7 rs179012 was associated with an increased risk. TLR2 SNP rs3804099 was associated with a decreased risk of BV among HIV-1 infected women. Our findings indicate that there may be differences in TLR association with BV among HIV-1 infected and HIV-1 uninfected women.

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