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Association Between LTF Polymorphism and Risk of HIV-1 Transmission Among Zambian Seropositive Mothers

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 1 ]


Luisa Zupin*, Vania Polesello, Ludovica Segat, Anselmo Jiro Kamada, Louise Kuhn and Sergio Crovella   Pages 52 - 57 ( 6 )


Background: Lactoferrin is a member of the innate immune system acting in the first line of defence against pathogens, and it is known for its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity, including HIV-1. Two polymorphisms, T29A and R47K, in the exon 1 region of the LTF gene (encoding for the lactoferrin protein) were previously described as able to influence the lactoferrin antimicrobial function.

Objectives: LTF T29A and R47K genetic variants were analysed in a Zambian population to unravel if these polymorphisms could play a role in HIV-1 mother-to-child HIV-1 transmission.

Methods: LTF T29A and R47K polymorphisms were genotyped, using allelic specific fluorescent probes and real time PCR, in a population comprising 101 HIV-1 positive mothers and 333 children born to seropositive mothers.

Results: Maternal LTF T29A A/A and A/G genotypes were found to be associated with decreased risk of HIV-1 MTCT, being more frequent among non-transmitter mothers respect to transmitter mothers.

Conclusion: Our data suggested that maternal LTF genetic background contributes to the susceptibility to HIV-1 transmission from mother to new-borns.


LTF, HIV-1, MTCT, polymorphisms, antimicrobial, mother to child transmission.


Department of Medicine, Surgery and Health Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Institute for Maternal and Child Health IRCCS "Burlo Garofolo", Trieste, Institute for Maternal and Child Health IRCCS "Burlo Garofolo", Trieste, Department of Genetics, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center and Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, Institute for Maternal and Child Health IRCCS "Burlo Garofolo", Trieste

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