LAV revisited: origins of the early HIV-1 isolates from Institut Pasteur

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Science  17 May 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5008, pp. 961-965
DOI: 10.1126/science.2035026


Two of the first human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) strains isolated were authenticated by reanalyzing original cultured samples stored at the Collection Nationale de Culture des Microorganismes as well as uncultured primary material. Cloned polymerase chain reaction products were used to analyze coding sequences of the V3 loop in the gp120 glycoprotein. The original isolate HIV-1 Bru, formerly called LAV, was derived from patient BRU. HIV-1 Lai was derived from patient LAI and contaminated a HIV-1 Bru culture between 20 July and 3 August 1983. The culture became, in effect, HIV-1 Lai, identifiable by a unique motif in the V3 loop. Because of this contamination two, rather than one, HIV-1 isolates were sent to the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology at the National Cancer Institute on 23 September 1983. Original HIV-1 Bru was indeed present in the sample marked JBB/LAV. However the M2T-/B sample harbored HIV-1 Lai, a strain capable of growing on established cell lines. The striking similarity between HIV-1 Lai (formerly LAV-Bru) and HTLV-3B sequences remains.

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