Current HIV/AIDS Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 431–440 | Cite as

Human Genetic Variation and HIV/AIDS in Papua New Guinea: Time to Connect the Dots

  • Rajeev K. MehlotraEmail author
The Global Epidemic (SH Vermund, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on The Global Epidemic


Purpose of Review

Human genetic polymorphisms known to influence HIV acquisition and disease progression occur in Papua New Guinea (PNG). However, no genetic association study has been reported so far. In this article, we review research findings, with a view to stimulate genotype-to-phenotype research.

Recent Findings

PNG, a country in Oceania, has a high prevalence of HIV and many sexually transmitted infections. While limited data is available from this country regarding the distribution of human genetic polymorphisms known to influence clinical outcomes of HIV/AIDS, genetic association studies are lacking. Our studies, in the past decade, have revealed that polymorphisms in chemokine receptor-ligand (CCR2-CCR5, CXCL12), innate immune (Toll-like receptor, β-defensin), and antiretroviral drug-metabolism enzyme (CYP2B6, UGT2B7) genes are prevalent in PNG.


Although our results need to be validated in further studies, it is urgent to pursue large-scale, comprehensive genetic association studies that include these as well as additional genetic polymorphisms.


CCR5 CYP2B6 HIV/AIDS. Human genetic variation Papua New Guinea 



I dedicate this review to my respected friend and guide Dr. Mark Stoneking (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany), who has inspired me through his worldwide work on human genetics.

I have undoubtedly been influenced, in the present work, by the advice and assistance which I have received from my teachers, friends, and fellow workers. Such help is impossible to assess, or even to define. Though nameless here, they are not forgotten and I offer my sincere gratitude to them. Nevertheless, I take full responsibility for all the views expressed in this article, and if I have fallen into errors, the fault is mine, and not attributable to those who have helped me.


This work was supported by a Development Award from the Center for AIDS Research, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, U.S.A. (NIH grant #AI36219); an Infectious Diseases Research Support from STERIS Corporation, Mentor, OH, U.S.A. and a Large Pilot Grant from the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Clinic CTSA grant #UL1RR024989 (National Center for Research Resources, NIH). Financial support was also provided by the Fogarty International Center (NIH, D43TW007377).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no competing interests.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major Importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Global Health and DiseasesCase Western Reserve University School of MedicineClevelandUSA

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