Studies of HIV-2 infection have shown lower rates of sexual and perinatal transmission and a prolonged incubation period to AIDS as compared to HIV-1. To evaluate the role of genetic variation in HIV pathogenesis, we studied intrapatient variability in the V3 loop of the HIV-2 envelope gene over time in five seropositive individuals. Proviral sequences derived from uncultured PBMC DNA (n = 102) demonstrated an average sequence heterogeneity within a sample of 1.4% (0-4.1%). This was significantly lower than the V3 sequence heterogeneity observed in HIV-1, which can be as high as 6.1%. In HIV-2-seropositive healthy patients the average intrapatient nucleotide variability rate was 0.6% compared to 2.0% in patients with clinical AIDS. The lower rate of variability between HIV-2 and HIV-1 is compatible with differences in transmission and pathogenesis of these two related viruses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases