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J Virol. 1988 Nov;62(11):4078-85.

Differences in cytopathogenicity and host cell range among infectious molecular clones of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 simultaneously isolated from an individual.

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  • 1Molecular Virology Laboratory, St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia, New York, New York.


A cytopathic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolate containing multiple virus genotypes was molecularly cloned, and the biological activity of six randomly selected clones was assessed by transfection into human lymphoid or glial cell lines. Five infectious clones of HIV-1, termed N1T-A through -E, were isolated in this manner. Clones N1T-A, -B, -C, and -E could be distinguished by restriction endonuclease mapping whereas clones N1T-B and -D had identical maps with the enzymes used. Each clone exhibited a distinct host cell range as well as markedly different infection kinetics and cytopathogenic properties when tested in human cell lines of T-lymphocytic, monocytic, and astrocytic origin. In particular, infection with HIV-1 clone N1T-E was characterized by slow kinetics and lack of significant cytopathic effects in acutely and chronically infected cells. Clone N1T-A, similar to the parental isolate N1T, exhibited a wide host cell range, fast kinetics of infection, and high cytopathogenicity. These data indicate that HIV-infected individuals may carry multiple HIV-1 genotypes with distinct cytopathogenic potential and cell tropism. Analysis of virus isolates must take into account the contribution, or masking, of individual virus clones.

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