Biologic features of HIV-1 that correlate with virulence in the host

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Science  01 Apr 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4848, pp. 80-82
DOI: 10.1126/science.2832945


Individuals infected with the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) may be asymptomatic or have AIDS-related complex or the acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Little is known about the factors that influence progression of infection to AIDS. In this study of isolates of HIV-1 obtained at intervals during the infection of four individuals, the development of disease was found to be correlated with the emergence of HIV-1 variants that were more cytopathic in vitro as the disease progressed and that replicated more efficiently in a wide variety of different human cells. The biologic properties of HIV-1 in vitro thus appear to reflect its virulence in the host. Further studies of such sequentially isolated viruses may lead to the identification of viral genes that govern pathogenesis.