OBJECTIVES - The human genetics of HIV-2 infection and disease progression is understudied. Therefore, we studied the effect of variation in 2 genes that encode products critical to HIV pathogenesis and disease progression: CD4 and CD209.
DESIGN - This cross-sectional study consisted of 143 HIV-2, 30 HIV-1 + HIV-2 and 29 HIV-1-infected subjects and 194 uninfected controls recruited from rural Guinea-Bissau.
METHODS - We genotyped 14 CD4 and 4 CD209 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were tested for association with HIV infection, HIV-2 plasma viral load (high vs. low), and CD4 T-cell count (high vs. low).
RESULTS - The most significant association was between a CD4 haplotype rs11575097-rs10849523 and high viral load [odds ratio (OR): = 2.37, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.35 to 4.19, P = 0.001, corrected for multiple testing], suggesting increased genetic susceptibility to HIV-2 disease progression for individuals carrying the high-risk haplotype. Significant associations were also observed at a CD4 SNP (rs2255301) with HIV-2 infection (OR: = 2.36, 95% CI: 1.19 to 4.65, P = 0.01) and any HIV infection (OR: = 2.50, 95% CI: 1.34 to 4.69, P = 0.004).
CONCLUSIONS - Our results support a role of CD4 polymorphisms in HIV-2 infection, in agreement with recent data showing that CD4 gene variants increase risk to HIV-1 in Kenyan female sex workers. These findings indicate at least some commonality in HIV-1 and HIV-2 susceptibility.