Characterization of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope variation and neutralizing antibody responses during transmission of HIV-1 subtype B.


We analyzed neutralization sensitivity and genetic variation of transmitted subtype B human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in eight recently infected men who have sex with men and the virus from the six subjects who infected them. In contrast to reports of heterosexual transmission of subtype C HIV-1, in which the transmitted virus appears to be more neutralization sensitive, we demonstrate that in our study population, relatively few phenotypic changes in neutralization sensitivity or genotypic changes in envelope occurred during transmission of subtype B HIV-1. We suggest that limited genetic variation within the infecting host reduces the likelihood of selective transmission of neutralization-sensitive HIV.

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