Disease progression in heterosexual patients infected with closely related subtype B strains of HIV type 1 with differing coreceptor usage properties
Hayman, A.; Moss, T.; Arnold, C.; Naylor-Adamson, L.; Balfe, P.
Aids Research and Human Retroviruses 20(4): 365-371
ISSN/ISBN: 0889-2229 PMID: 15157355 DOI: 10.1089/088922204323048113
Previously we described a heterosexual outbreak of HIV-1 subtype B in a town in the north of England (Doncaster) where 11 of 13 infections were shown to be linked by phylogenetic analysis of the env gp120 region. The 11 infections were related to a putative index case, Don1, and further divided into two groups based on the patients' disease status, their viral sequences, and other epidemiological information. Here we describe two further findings. First, we found that viral isolates and gp120 recombinant viruses derived from patients from one group used the CCR5 coreceptor, whereas viruses from the other group could use both the CCR5 and CXCR4 coreceptors. Patients with the X4/R5 dual tropic strains were symptomatic when diagnosed and progressed rapidly, in contrast to the other patient group that has remained asymptomatic, implying a link between the tropism of the strains and disease outcome. Second, we present additional sequence data derived from the index case, demonstrating the presence of sequences from both clades, with an average interclade distance of 9.56%, providing direct evidence of a genetic link between these two groups. This new study shows that Don1 harbored both strains, implying he was either dually infected or that over time intrahost diversification from the R5 to R5/X4 phenotype occurred. These events may account for/have led to the spread of two genetically related strains with different pathogenic properties within the same heterosexual community.