HIV & AIDS
Host Molecular Factors and Viral Genotypes in the mother to- Child HIV-1 transmission in sub-Saharan Africa
Maternal viral load and immune status,
timing and route of delivery, viral subtype,
and host genetics are known to influence
the transmission, acquisition and disease
progression of human immunodeficiency
virus-1 (HIV-1) infection. This review summarizes
the findings from published works
on host molecular factors and virus genotypes
affecting mother to child transmission
(MTCT) in Africa and identifies the gaps
that need to be addressed in future research.
Articles in PubMed, Google and AIDSearch
and relevant conference abstracts publications
were searched. Accessible articles on
host factors and viral genetics impacting the
MTCT of HIV, done on African populations
till 2015 were downloaded. Forty-six articles
were found and accessed; 70%
described host genes impacting the transmission.
The most studied gene was the
CCR5 promoter, followed by the CCR2-64I
found to reduce MTCT; then SDF1-3’A
shown to have no effect on MTCT and others
like the DC-SIGNR, CD4, CCL3 and IP-
10. The HLA class I was most studied and
was generally linked to the protective effect
on MTCT. Breast milk constituents were
associated to protection against MTCT.
However, existing studies in Sub Saharan
Africa were done just in few countries and
some done without control groups.
Contradictory results obtained may be due
to different genetic background, type of
controls, different socio-cultural and economic
environment and population size.
More studies are thus needed to better
understand the mechanism of transmission
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