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HLA association with HTLV-1/2 infection in different populations of Argentina


HLA class 1 alleles HLA-A*24,*26 and HLA-B*07,*61 were associated to susceptibility for HTLV-1 infection.While HLA-A*02 was associated to protection to HAM/TSP, HLA-B*07 was associated to susceptibility for disease. Alleles HLA-A*02 and HLA-B*27,*40,*48 were described in aboriginal populations of Russia genetically related to Andean aborigines. This study analyzed the association of HLA with susceptibility to HTLV-1 or -2 infections.

Materials and methods

60 negative samples from aboriginal populations, 23 HTLV-1 samples (12 from blood donors (BD), 11 from Kollas) and 32 HTLV-2 positive samples from Buenos Aires residents were analyzed. HTLV-2 positive individuals and BD were predominantly of Caucasian origin. HLA class 1 (A, B) characterization was performed on genomic DNA using the PCR-SSO technique and chemiluminescence. Exons 2 and 3 of HLA-A and B genes were amplified.


The HLA-A*02 allele was frequently observed in all groups, being significantly higher among HTLV-1+, and among HTLV-1+ Kollas compared to non-infected ones (p=0.03). HLA-A*31 and *68 were significantly more frequent among negative individuals. HLA-B*07 was higher in HTLV-2+ individuals. HLA-B*35 was higher in HTLV-1 compared to HTLV-2 and in HTLV-1 infected Kollas compared to HTLV-1 infected Caucasians but similar to negative Kollas. HLA-B*40 was higher in negative individuals compared to HTLV-2+ ones.


These data suggest a possible association of HLA-A*02 to susceptibility to infection while HLA-A*31 and *68 may have a possible protective effect against HTLV-1 natural infection. HLA-B*07 might increase HTLV-2 susceptibility to infection. These results show that the allele HLA-B*35 is associated to ethnic groups while the presence of alleles HLA-A*02 and HLA-B*07 may increase susceptibility to HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 infection, respectively. Our observations support that the HLA haplotype modulates the susceptibility to HTLV-1/2 infection.

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Correspondence to Carolina Berini.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Berini, C., Eirin, M.E., Malan, R. et al. HLA association with HTLV-1/2 infection in different populations of Argentina. Retrovirology 8 (Suppl 1), A107 (2011).

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