HLA Allele Sharing and HIV Type 1 Viremia in Seroconverting Zambians with Known Transmitting Partners

Academic Article


  • Rapid HIV type 1 (HIV-1) mutation coupled with immune evasion poses a major obstacle to effective interventions. In particular, transmission of HIV-1 from a donor partner (transmitter) to a recipient (seroconverter) with similar antigen-presenting molecules (i.e., human leukocyte antigens, HLA) may favor or expedite viral adaptation to host immune responses. Our PCR-based HLA-A, HLA-B, and HLA-DRB1 genotyping for 115 Zambian couples with documented intracouple HIV-1 (mostly clade C) transmission revealed that single-locus HLA allele sharing ranged from 28 to 36%. Different degrees of allele sharing, at single or multiple HLA loci between donor-recipient pairs, were associated with only modest increases in seroconverter RNA level (+0.04 to +0.24 log10 copies/mL, p > 0.25). Thus, partial HLA allele sharing commonly seen in Zambian couples did not appear to confer unequivocal early advantage for viral replication in the newly sero-converting subjects. However, correlation of virus loads in seroconverters with those of their known index partners (adjusted Pearson r = 0.21, p = 0.03) did imply that viral characteristics can independently contribute to variability in plasma virus load.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tang J; Tang S; Lobashevsky E; Zulu I; Aldrovandi G; Allen S; Kaslow RA
  • Start Page

  • 19
  • End Page

  • 25
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 1