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HLA-G polymorphisms in vertical transmission of HIV-1


The major source of HIV infection in children is the vertical maternal-to-child transmission (MTC). HIV-1 MTC transmission rate is about 3% among pregnant women under antiretroviral therapy and 25 to 30% among untreated women. Despite viral exposure during pregnancy, most of the neonates are not vertically infected, which suggests the existence of naturally protecting barriers against perinatal HIV-1 transmission. Several factors may be associated with HIV-1 infection. Genetic polymorphisms are described in association with HIV-1 infection, including the human leucocyte antigen (HLA). HLA-G molecule has been implicated in immunological maternal-fetal interactions and in expressed in placenta cells, specifically in extravillous cytotrophoblasts, which form the stratus responsible for maternal-fetal tissue interface. Few and contradictory studies have evaluated possible association between HIV-1 MTC and polymorphisms of genes encoding HLA-G molecule. Furthermore, there are no studies focusing on HLA-G expression on placenta samples of HIV-1 MTC. Based on the scarcity of studies approaching this theme, this project is aimed to evaluate HLA-G on HIV-1 MTC transmission in groups of mother and child infected or not with HIV. 3´UTR polymorphisms will be typified by sequencing analysis. The project protocol was approved by Ethics Committee of the University Hospital of the Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto (protocol 9060/2006). (AU)

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