n South African Medical Journal - Evaluating the contribution of haplotypes on influencing HIV infection in a Zimbabwean paediatric population : the new millennium




Apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing catalytic polypeptide like-3G () is an antiviral enzyme that reduces viral fitness by introducing uracil to thymidine hypermutations in viral genomes. Thus, polymorphisms in the gene have been implicated in differential outcomes of HIV infection and disease progression. However, there is insufficient evidence on the role of gene variants on HIV infection, especially in African populations. This study therefore describes polymorphisms in the gene in a Zimbabwean paediatric population and evaluates their effects on susceptibility to HIV infection among children born to HIV-infected mothers.

A total of 104 children aged between 7 and 9 years, comprising 68 perinatally exposed to HIV (32 born infected (EI) and 36 born uninfected (EU)) and 36 unexposed and uninfected (UEUI) controls were recruited. Allelic variants (n=5) in the gene were characterised.
Frequencies for minor alleles in the HIV-uninfected groups (EU and UEUI) were (40%), (32%), (12%), (42%), and (6%). frequency was statistically significantly different when compared to the Masai of Kinyawa, Kenya population (42% v. 18%). None of the single nucleotide polymorphisms individually or as part of haplotypes were significantly associated with HIV infection when comparing the EI and EU groups.
Our findings suggest that polymorphisms alone may not have significant predictive power for inferring genetic susceptibility to vertical transmission of HIV in children perinatally exposed to HIV.


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