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The immune response to HIV: The interplay between virus and host genetic factors

Christiansen, F.T., Gaudieri, S., Moore, C.B., Martin, A., Nolan, D., James, I.R., McKinnon, E., DeSantis, D., Witt, C.S. and Mallal, S. (2003) The immune response to HIV: The interplay between virus and host genetic factors. In: British Society for Immunology Annual Congress, 2 - 5 December 2003, Harrogate, England.


The immune response to HIV infection is complex involving multiple interactive pathways and components. These pathways are influenced by both virus and host genetic factors, which determine disease progression, complications and response to treatment. HIV virus evades the antigen specific T-cell immunity by undergoing mutations throughout its entire genome, which at a population level are both positively and negatively associated with particular HLA alleles. The extent to which this adaptation occurs influences viral load. These results provide evidence that host HLA is an important factor imprinting on viral evolution. Host genetic factors are also important predictors of clinical course and complications in established HIV infection. In cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of the WA HIV cohort, we have shown certain HLA and chemokine receptor alleles influence viral load set point. In addition, the presence of certain NK cell KIR genes influence outcome, particularly, in relation to rate of decline of CD4 cells. Those genes characteristic of the B group of KIR haplotypes were associated with a more rapid rate of decline. Host genetics can also influence responses to therapeutic agents. In an update of our initial observation that abacavir hypersensitivity shows a striking association with MHC markers of the 57.1 AH, we show that these markers have a useful clinical role while mapping, and in vitro studies have provided some insights into the possible pathogenic basis for this association.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Clinical Immunology and Biomedical Statistics
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