Comparison of variable region 3 sequences of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 from infected children with the RNA and DNA sequences of the virus populations of their mothers

Gabriella Scarlatti, Thomas Leitner, Eva Halapi, Johan Wahlberg, Paola Marchisio, Maria Angela Clerici-Schoeller, Hans Wigzell, Eva Maria Fenyö, Jan Albert, Mathias Uhlén, Paolo Rossi

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We have compared the variable region 3 sequences from 10 human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected infants to virus sequences from the corresponding mothers. The sequences were derived from DNA of uncultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), DNA of cultured PBMC, and RNA from serum collected at or shortly after delivery. The infected infants, in contrast to the mothers, harbored homogeneous virus populations. Comparison of sequences from the children and clones derived from DNA of the corresponding mothers showed that the transmitted virus represented either a minor or a major virus population of the mother. In contrast to an earlier study, we found no evidence of selection of minor virus variants during transmission. Furthermore, the transmitted virus variant did not show any characteristic molecular features. In some cases the transmitted virus was more related to the virus RNA population of the mother and in other cases it was more related to the virus DNA population. This suggests that either cell-free or cell-associated virus may be transmitted. These data will help AIDS researchers to understand the mechanism of transmission and to plan strategies for prevention of transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1721-1725
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics

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