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Med Clin (Barc). 1998 Apr 4;110(12):441-5.

[Expression of different HIV-1 phenotypic subpopulations through the natural history of the infection].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Unidad de Investigación en Retrovirus, Centro Nacional dee Biologia Fundamental Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid.



Multiple viral subpopulations coexist in an HIV infected patient with dynamics of selection established between them. In order to get insight on the phenotype of these subpoblations, and its relation with disease progression, we have studied the biological variability of HIV-1 in 113 patients. Variability was related with CD4+ T lymphocyte counts, clinical status, way of viral transmission and antiretroviral treatment.


113 patients (80 adults and 33 children) were studied for HIV-1 isolation in cocultures of infected and non infected lymphocytes. Viral replication was evaluated as rapid (R)/slow (S) or high (H)/low (L). Syncytia formation was estimated in MT2 cell line (SI/NSI). The tropism toward lymphocytes and monocytes (LM) was studied on H9 and U937 cell lines.


Up to 86.7% of viral isolates were R, 56.6% were H and 49.6% were SI. These percentages increased with disease progression. Eight viral strains were R/H/NSI cocultivated in MT2 cells and SI in cocultured lymphocytes (NSI/SI), which may be considered as a new phenotype. All the SI isolates and all the R/H (SI and NSI) isolates were LM. Three categories were established: R/H/SI/LM, R/H/NSI/LM and S/L/NSI/NLM. The first two categories corresponded to patients with CD4+ T lymphocytes <200 x 10(6)/I (56%, 50%). The third category corresponded to patients with > 500 x 10(6)/I (53.3%).


Viral replication and SI phenotype, independently, are useful markers for severity of HIV infection. The biological differences among NSI of the 3 viral phenotype categories, including the new subgroup NSI/SI, may indicate the existence of more pathogenic NSI subpopulations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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