Send to

Choose Destination
HIV Med. 2000 Oct;1(4):205-11.

Proviral HIV-1 dynamics and evolution in patients receiving efficient long-term antiretroviral combination therapy.

Author information

Divisions of Clinical Virology and Infectious Diseases, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden.



Different experimental approaches have shown that, despite plasma viral loads under the threshold of detection, HIV-1 frequently continues to replicate in patients receiving potent antiretroviral therapy. However, whether this low-grade viral replication is sufficient for the generation of new major quasispecies has not been studied. Thus, in order to evaluate the extent of variation in the major proviral HIV-1 population, we monitored proviral DNA sequences in such patients over a time period of up to 30 months.


DNA was extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and the V3 region was amplified by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and directly sequenced. Additionally, both HIV-1 RNA and DNA levels and CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts were monitored.


Analysing the V3 gene sequences of 17 patients, we observed a sequence evolution in nine patients. Interestingly, the majority of these changes (77%) occurred in the first interval following the initiation of therapy and despite signs of ongoing replication the proviral DNA levels continued to decrease in all patients.


Our data suggest that, although available data report that HIV-1 continues to replicate in patients with undetectable viraemia, the extent of viral replication in many of these patients is not sufficient to result in changes in the major viral population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center