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Nat Med. 1999 May;5(5):535-41.

Emerging cytopathic and antigenic simian immunodeficiency virus variants influence AIDS progression.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


Genetic variants of human and simian immunodeficiency virus (HIV and SIV) that evolve during the course of infection and progression to AIDS are phenotypically and antigenically distinct from their progenitor viruses present at early stages of infection. However, it has been unclear how these late variants, which are typically T-cell tropic, cytopathic and resistant to neutralizing antibodies, influence the development of clinical AIDS. To address this, we infected macaques with cloned SIVs representing prototype variants from early-, intermediate- and late-stage infection having biological characteristics typical of viruses found at similar stages of HIV infection in humans. These studies demonstrate that sequential, phenotypic and antigenic variants represent viruses that have become increasingly fit for replication in the host, and our data support the hypothesis that emerging variants have increased pathogenicity and drive disease progression in SIV and HIV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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