Objective: To study the role of host genotype in pediatric infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Methods: Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II and complement C4 genotypes were determined by means of molecular genetic techniques for 243 black children born to HIV-1-infected mothers in New York City and San Francisco. Survival, cumulative incidences of opportunistic infections and encephalopathy, and rates of CD4+ T cell decline were compared in children of different genotypes.
Results: Among HIV-1-infected children, the HLA-DR3 haplotype (DRB1*0301-DQA1*0501-DQB1*0201) was associated with increased incidence of encephalopathy, faster rate of CD4+ cell decline, and death before 2 years of age. Deletion of the C4A gene was independently associated with increased incidences of encephalopathy and early death. DPB1*0101 was associated with survival to at least 2 years of age. The presence of DQB1*0604 was associated with increased risk of HIV infection.
Conclusions: These results are consistent with previously reported associations between HLA genotypes and faster progression to AIDS among HIV-infected adults. The DR3 haplotype and C4A deletion may reflect the same underlying mechanism of susceptibility in that the DR3 haplotype is in linkage disequilibrium with other C4A null alleles. In addition, the class II locus DPB1 may have an independent effect on survival.