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African infants with vertically acquired HIV infection progress rapidly, with only 50% surviving beyond 2 years in the absence of treatment. Despite this high initial mortality, recent reports describe a substantial burden of older children living with untreated vertically acquired HIV infection in Southern Africa. The immunological and genetic factors associated with long-term survival following vertical infection are poorly understood. We performed medium-to-high resolution HLA typing on DNA samples obtained from a cohort of presumed vertically HIV-1-infected children and age-matched uninfected controls in Harare, Zimbabwe. Overall, 93 HLA class I alleles were detected in the study population with a significant enrichment of HLA-C*08:02 and -C*08:04 in the HIV-1-infected long-term survivor group. Conversely, HLA-A*02:01, A*34:02, and -B*58:02 were overrepresented in the uninfected control group. Our data indicate that HLA alleles may have differential effects against HIV acquisition and disease progression in vertical HIV-1 infection.

Original publication




Journal article


AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses

Publication Date





504 - 507


Adolescent, Child, Cohort Studies, Disease Resistance, Female, Gene Frequency, HIV Infections, HIV Long-Term Survivors, HLA Antigens, Humans, Male, Zimbabwe