Toll-like receptor 9 polymorphisms influence mother-to-child transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1

Elisabetta Ricci, Sandro Malacrida, Marisa Zanchetta, Ilaria Mosconi, Marco Montagna, Carlo Giaquinto, Anita De Rossi

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Background: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns and play a crucial role in the host's innate immune response. Genetic variations in TLR genes may influence host-viral interactions and might impact upon the risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1). The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of genetic variants of TLR 9 gene on MTCT.Methods: Three hundred children (118 HIV-1-infected and 182 HIV-1-uninfected) born to HIV-1-infected mothers were studied. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) NM_017442.2: c.4-44G >A (rs352139) and c.1635A >G (rs352140) of the TLR9 gene were genotyped by TaqMan allelic discrimination assay. Statistical analyses were performed using SNPStats program.Results: When considered separately, neither of the two SNPs was significantly associated with risk of HIV-1 infection. However, the [A;A] and [G;G] haplotypes were associated with a higher risk of HIV-1 infection compared to the prevalent [G;A] haplotype [odds ratio (OR) = 3.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.24-8.03, p = 0.016, and OR = 5.54, 95% CI 1.76-17.50, p = 0.004, respectively].Conclusions: Overall, results demonstrate a significant correlation between specific genetic variants of the TLR9 gene and risk of MTCT of HIV-1, thus confirming a critical role of innate immunity in perinatal HIV-1 infection. Strategies aimed at modulating innate immunity might be useful for future treatment of pediatric HIV-1 infection and AIDS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Publication statusPublished - May 25 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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