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Virology. 2010 Jul 20;403(1):37-46. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2010.04.001. Epub 2010 May 4.

Dynamics and timing of in vivo mutations at Gag residue 242 during primary HIV-1 subtype C infection.

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Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Viral mutations at Gag residue 242 and relevant viral polymorphisms were analyzed in a cohort of 42 individuals with primary HIV-1 subtype C infection using single-genome amplification/sequencing. In HLA-B*57/5801-negative subjects infected with 242N escape variant, reversion to Asn appeared at median (IQR) 103 days (97-213 days) post-seroconversion (p/s) and became dominant at 193 days (170-215 days) p/s. In subjects expressing HLA-B*57/5801 and infected with the wild-type virus, the T242N escape appeared at 203 days (196-231) p/s, reached dominance at 277 days (265-315 days) p/s, and became complete at 323 days (289-373 days) p/s. HLA-B*57/5801-negative subjects infected with 242N escape variant did not show reduced viral load or increased CD4 count. The study highlights the differential selection of T242N escape by HLA-B*57 and B*5801 and suggests that the presence of HLA-B*57/5801-mediated immune pressure is able to control replication of the wild-type virus encoding Thr at Gag residue 242 but fails to suppress the T242N escape variant.

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