Influence of HLA supertypes on susceptibility and resistance to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection

Kelly S. MacDonald, Keith R. Fowke, Joshua Kimani, Viviane A. Dunand, Nico J.D. Nagelkerke, T. Blake Ball, Julius Oyugi, Ephantus Njagi, Lakshmi K. Gaur, Robert C. Brunham, Judy Wade, Mark A. Luscher, Peter Krausa, Sarah Rowland-Jones, Elizabeth Ngugi, Job J. Bwayo, Francis A. Plummer

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214 Citations (Scopus)


Certain human leukocyte antigens, by presenting conserved immunogenic epitopes for T cell recognition, may, in part, account for the observed differences in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) susceptibility. To determine whether HLA polymorphism influences HIV-1 susceptibility, a longitudinal cohort of highly HIV-1-exposed female sex workers based in Nairobi, Kenya, was prospectively analyzed. Decreased HIV-1 infection risk was strongly associated with possession of a cluster of closely related HLA alleles (A2/6802 supertype; incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.27-0.72; P = .0003). The alleles in this supertype are known in some cases to present the same peptide epitopes for T cell recognition. In addition, resistance to HIV-1 infection was independently associated with HLA DRB1*01 (IRR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.06-0.60; P = .0003), which suggests that anti- HIV-1 class II restricted CD4 effector mechanisms may play an important role in protecting against viral challenge. These data provide further evidence that resistance to HIV-1 infection in this cohort of sex workers is immunologically mediated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1581-1589
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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