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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1993 Dec;3(6):878-83.

The fastest genome evolution ever described: HIV variation in situ.

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Unité de Rétrovirologie Moléculaire, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


Human immunodeficiency virus is an RNA virus in which the degree of genetic variation observed is phenomenal--up to 20% within an infected individual. This is essentially due to remorseless cycles of viral replication, most probably due to chronic activation of the immune system. It can be estimated that the number of variants in existence worldwide must be in excess of 10(14)-10(18), and given the nature of RNA viruses even more novel variants should emerge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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