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