Killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptors associate with HIV-1 infection in a narrow-source Han Chinese cohort.
Wang L., Zhang Y., Xu K., Dong T., Rowland-Jones S., Yindom L-M.
BACKGROUND: The HIV pandemic remains the most serious challenge to public health worldwide. The hallmark characteristics of the disease is the eventual failure of the immune system to control opportunistic infections and death. However not everyone who has HIV develops the disease at the same rate and so we are studying how the immune system works to control the virus in those who have been infected for decades and remain relatively healthy without the need of anti-retroviral therapy (ART). METHODS: Genomic DNA samples from 513 Chinese Han individuals from Henan province were typed for 15 KIR and 3 HLA class I genes. Genotype frequencies were compared between a village cohort of 261 former plasma donors (SM cohort) infected with HIV-1 through an illegal plasma donor scheme who survived more than 10 years of infection without ART and 252 ethnically-matched healthy controls from a nearby village. KIR and HLA were molecularly typed using a combination of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP) and sequence based techniques. RESULTS: All 15 KIR genes were observed in the study population at various frequencies. KIR2DL3 was significantly less common in the HIV-1 infected group (95.8% vs 99.2%, p = 0.021). The combination of KIR3DS1 with homozygosity for HLA-Bw4 alleles (the putative ligand for KIR3DS1) was significantly less frequent in the HIV-1 infected group than in the control group (6.0% vs 12.0% respectively, p = 0.023). CONCLUSION: Specific KIR-HLA compound genotypes associate with differential outcomes to infection and disease progression following exposure to a narrow-source HIV-1.