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

J Infect Dis. 2000 May;181(5):1581-9. doi: 10.1086/315472. Epub 2000 May 8.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / genetics*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Disease Susceptibility / immunology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / genetics*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Seronegativity / immunology
  • HIV Seropositivity / genetics
  • HIV Seropositivity / immunology
  • HIV-1
  • HLA Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / immunology
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Sex Work*
  • Time Factors


  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains