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Epidemiologically linked transmission of HIV-1 illustrates the impact of host genetics on virological outcome

Streeck, Hendrika,*; Jessen, Heikob,*; Kuecherer, Claudiac; Li, Bina; Jessen, Arne Bb; Dupke, Stephand; Baumgarten, Axeld; Stahmer, Ingride; van Lunzen, Jane; Altfeld, Marcusa; Walker, Bruce Da,f,g; Allen, Todd Ma

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e328315a78b
Research Letters

The diversity of HIV-1 and human genetics complicates our ability to determine the impact of treatment during primary HIV-1 infection on disease outcome. Here, we show, in a small group infected with virtually identical HIV-1 strains and treated during primary HIV-1 infection, that patients expressing protective human leucocyte antigen alleles had lower viral loads following treatment discontinuation. These data suggest that genetic factors play an important role in the outcome of HIV-1 infection despite early therapy.

aPartners AIDS Research Center, Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA

bHIV Clinic Dres. Jessen, Jessen, Stein, Berlin, Germany

cRobert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany

dHIV Clinic Baumgarten, Carganico, Dupke, Berlin, Germany

eUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Infectious Diseases Unit, Germany

fHeinrich Pette Institute for Experimental Virology and Immunology, Hamburg, Germany

gHoward Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA.

* These authors contributed equally.

Correspondence to Todd M. Allen, PhD, MGH-East, CNY 6625, 149 13th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA. Tel: +1 617 726 7846; fax: +1 617 724 8586; e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.