Objective: This study investigates the role of mannose-binding lectin (MBL) in the susceptibility to HIV-1 infection analyzing polymorphisms located at the MBL2 promoter and exon 1 regions.
Materials and methods: The prevalence of MBL2 variant alleles was investigated in 410 HIV-1-infected patients from the South Brazilian HIV cohort and in 345 unexposed uninfected healthy individuals. The promoter variants were genotyped using polymerase chain reaction with sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP) and exon 1 variants were analyzed by real-time PCR using a melting temperature assay and were confirmed by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). MBL2 genotypic and allelic frequencies were compared between HIV-1-infected patients and controls using the chi-squared tests.
Results: The analyses were performed subdividing the individuals according to their ethnic origin. Among Euro-derived individuals a higher frequency of the LX/LX genotype was observed in patients when compared to controls (P < 0.001). The haplotypic analysis also showed a higher frequency of the haplotypes associated with lower MBL levels among HIV-1-infected patients (P = 0.0001). Among Afro-derived individuals the frequencies of LY/LY and HY/HY genotypes were higher in patients when compared to controls (P = 0.009 and P = 0.02).
Conclusions: An increased frequency of MBL2 genotypes associated with low MBL levels was observed in Euro-derived patients, suggesting a potential role for MBL in the susceptibility to HIV-1 infection in Euro-derived individuals.