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Virology. 2000 Sep 1;274(2):402-11.

Diversity of the HIV-1 long terminal repeat following mother-to-child transmission.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, 651 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115-6017, USA.


A study of the human immunodeficiency virus Type 1 (HIV-1) 5' long terminal repeat (LTR) was performed to determine the extent of variation found within the LTR from 19 mother-infant pairs in Tanzania and to assess whether the LTR is useful in distinguishing maternal sequences that were transmitted to infants. HIV-1 subtypes A, C, and D as well as intersubtype recombinant LTR sequences were detected in mothers and infants. The LTR subtype was 100% concordant between mothers and their infants. Diversity calculations showed a significant reduction in LTR variation in infants compared to their mothers. However, the overall magnitude of LTR variation was less than that found in the env gene from the same individuals. These data suggest a selective constraint active upon the 5' long terminal repeat that is distinct from immune selective pressure(s) directed against HIV-1 structural genes. Detection of maternal LTR variants that were transmitted to infants may yield important information concerning nonstructural determinants of HIV-1 transmission from mother to infant.

Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

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