Genetic identity biological phenotype and evolutionary pathways of transmitted founder viruses in acute and early HIV 1 infection
Identification of full-length transmitted HIV-1 genomes could be instrumental in HIV-1 pathogenesis, microbicide, and vaccine research by enabling the direct analysis of those viruses actually responsible for productive clinical infection. We show in 12 acutely infected subjects (9 clade B and 3 clade C) that complete HIV-1 genomes of transmitted/founder viruses can be inferred by single genome amplification and sequencing of plasma virion RNA. This allowed for the molecular cloning and biological analysis of transmitted/founder viruses and a comprehensive genome-wide assessment of the genetic imprint left on the evolving virus quasispecies by a composite of host selection pressures. Transmitted viruses encoded intact canonical genes (gag-pol-vif-vpr-tat-rev-vpu-env-nef) and replicated efficiently in primary human CD4(+) T lymphocytes but much less so in monocyte-derived macrophages. Transmitted viruses were CD4 and CCR5 tropic and demonstrated concealment of coreceptor binding surfaces of the envelope bridging sheet and variable loop 3. 2 mo after infection, transmitted/founder viruses in three subjects were nearly completely replaced by viruses differing at two to five highly selected genomic loci; by 12-20 mo, viruses exhibited concentrated mutations at 17-34 discrete locations. These findings reveal viral properties associated with mucosal HIV-1 transmission and a limited set of rapidly evolving adaptive mutations driven primarily, but not exclusively, by early cytotoxic T cell responses.
J. Exp. Med.
- PMID Author:
Salazar-Gonzalez JF, Salazar MG, Keele BF, Learn GH, Giorgi EE, Li H, Decker JM, Wang S, Baalwa J, Kraus MH, Parrish NF, Shaw KS, Guffey MB, Bar KJ, Davis KL, Ochsenbauer-Jambor C, Kappes JC, Saag MS, Cohen MS, Mulenga J, Derdeyn CA, Allen S, Hunter E, Markowitz M, Hraber P, Perelson AS, Bhattacharya T, Haynes BF, Korber BT, Hahn BH, Shaw GM
- PMC Link #: