Virus-host interactions in paediatric HIV-1 infection

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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: HIV-1 has a high degree of genotypic and phenotypic variability that confers a repertoire of interactions with the host. In mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1, the main source of paediatric AIDS, host-HIV-1 interaction occurs when the host's immune system is still under development. Thus, innate resistance and immunity, rather than adaptive immune responses, may play a critical role in preventing infection and disease progression in infants. RECENT FINDINGS: The search for natural components that block viral replication is an important field in HIV/AIDS research and new molecules and mechanisms of antiviral activity have been recently described. This review focuses on the characteristics of transmitted viruses and on the host factors that can potentially block HIV-1 infection by specifically interfering with steps in the viral entry and replication process (i.e., innate resistance) or by providing the first line of defence against a wide range of bacteria and viruses (i.e., innate immunity). The matching up of viral genome to specific host genetic variants, which confer either innate resistance or innate immunity, influences the mother-to-child transmission and the disease outcome. SUMMARY: The discovery of natural correlates of protection could be a major breakthrough for the development of successful strategies in the prevention or cure of HIV-1 infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-404
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in HIV and AIDS
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007


  • Genetic host factors
  • HIV-1 variability
  • Paediatric HIV-1 infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Hematology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)


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