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Major histocompatibility complex genes influence the outcome of HIV infection

Cameron, P.U., Mallal, S.A., French, M.A.H. and Dawkins, R.L. (1990) Major histocompatibility complex genes influence the outcome of HIV infection. Human Immunology, 29 (4). pp. 282-295.

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Several alleles at multiple HLA loci have been found to be associated with infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): HLA A1; B8, B35; Cw7, Cw4; DR1, DR3 and DQ1, are associated with particular disease manifestations and/or disease progression. Furthermore, in a pilot study we have shown an increase in the frequency of C4 null alleles and suggested that all the reported HLA alleles could reflect association with a limited number of ancestral haplotypes (AHs).

On this occasion, we studied 122 Caucasoid patients classified according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) criteria. The control group consisted of 67 seronegative homosexual or bisexual males at risk of developing HIV infection.

C4 null alleles were unequivocally present in 58% of patients in CDC IV compared with 33% of the seronegative subjects (x2 = 5.65, p < 0.05). Furthermore, C4 null alleles could be excluded in only 8% and 16% of CDC III and IV, respectively, but in 30% of the seronegative subjects. An increased frequency of three AHs largely accounted for the increases in C4 null and HLA alleles.

To examine the role of specific AHs we undertook a longitudinal analysis of a subgroup of 26 patients who seroconverted under observation. Seventeen of these patients were followed for 32 to 63 months. All seven patients with the 8.1 AH (A1, CW7, B8, BfS, C4AQ0, C4B1, DR3, DQ2) developed low CD4 lymphocyte counts (<450 × 106/l) compared with only 2 of 10 patients without this haplotype (p < 0.002). All three deaths occurred in patients with the 8.1 AH. The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome developed in three further cases with either 8.1- or B35- bearing (35.x) haplotypes. Sequential CD4/8 ratios showed an early and progressive decline in individuals with 8.1 or 35.x. Since the 8.1 and 35.x AHs contain deletions of the central major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes, we suggest that the genes affecting HIV infection and progression are within the central MHC region.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 1990 Elsevier Inc.
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