Abstract

Biological variability of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) is involved in the pathogenesis of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Syncytium-inducing (SI) HIV-1 variants emerge in 50 percent of infected individuals during infection, preceding accelerated CD4+ T cell loss and rapid progression to AIDS. The V1 to V2 and V3 region of the viral envelope glycoprotein gp120 contained the major determinants of SI capacity. The configuration of a hypervariable locus in the V2 domain appeared to be predictive for non-SI to SI phenotype conversion. Early prediction of HIV-1 phenotype evolution may be useful for clinical monitoring and treatment of asymptomatic infection.

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