HIV type 1 phenotype correlates with the stage of infection in vertically infected children

Claudia Balotta, Alessandra Viganò, Chiara Riva, M. Chiara Colombo, Antonino Salvaggio, M. Pia De Pasquale, Lina Crupi, Laura Papagno, Massimo Galli, Mauro Moroni, Nicola Principi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A cohort of 39 vertically infected children (class N, A, B, and C of the CDC HIV classification for pediatric infection) was studied by virus isolation and non-syncytium inducing (NSI)/syncytium inducing (SI) HIV-1 phenotype evaluation. The HIV-1 isolates were recovered from PBMCs and the MT-2 cell line was used to perform the syncytium assay. HIV-1 could be isolated in 34 of 39 (87%) infected children, regardless of the clinical and immunological stage of the disease. Class N and A subjects harbored exclusively NSI strains, whereas the SI phenotype was detected in two of eight class B and five of nine class C patients. All of the SI variants were observed in severely CD4-depleted children (class 3 patients). The capability of pediatric HIV-1 isolates to induce a cytopathic effect is associated with the clinical status and the degree of CD4 depletion. These data suggest that the biological properties of HIV-1 isolates in children do not differ from those observed in adults, and that viral phenotype strictly correlates with disease progression in vertically infected children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1247-1253
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology


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