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BACKGROUND: Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIR) interact with Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) to modify natural killer- and T-cell function. KIR are implicated in HIV acquisition by small studies that have not been widely replicated. A role for KIR in HIV disease progression is more widely replicated and supported by functional studies. METHODS: To assess the role of KIR and KIR ligands in HIV acquisition and disease course, we studied at-risk women in South Africa between 2004-2010. Logistic regression was used for nested case-control analysis of 154 women who acquired vs. 155 who did not acquire HIV, despite high exposure. Linear mixed-effects models were used for cohort analysis of 139 women followed prospectively for a median of 54 months (IQR 31-69) until 2014. RESULTS: Neither KIR repertoires nor HLA alleles were associated with HIV acquisition. However, KIR haplotype BB was associated with lower viral loads (-0.44 log10 copies/ml; SE = 0.18; p = 0.03) and higher CD4+ T-cell counts (+80 cells/μl; SE = 42; p = 0.04). This was largely explained by the protective effect of KIR2DL2/KIR2DS2 on the B haplotype and reciprocal detrimental effect of KIR2DL3 on the A haplotype. CONCLUSIONS: Although neither KIR nor HLA appear to have a role in HIV acquisition, our data are consistent with involvement of KIR2DL2 in HIV control. Additional studies to replicate these findings are indicated.

Original publication

DOI

10.1186/s12879-016-1361-1

Type

Journal article

Journal

BMC Infect Dis

Publication Date

25/01/2016

Volume

16

Keywords

Adult, Alleles, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cohort Studies, Disease Progression, Female, HIV Infections, HLA-C Antigens, Haplotypes, Humans, Killer Cells, Natural, Prospective Studies, Receptors, KIR, South Africa, Viral Load