Role of donor genital tract HIV 1 diversity in the transmission bottleneck
The predominant mode of HIV-1 infection is heterosexual transmission, where a genetic bottleneck is imposed on the virus quasispecies. To probe whether limited genetic diversity in the genital tract (GT) of the transmitting partner drives this bottleneck, viral envelope sequences from the blood and genital fluids of eight transmission pairs from Rwanda and Zambia were analyzed. The chronically infected transmitting partner's virus population was heterogeneous with distinct genital subpopulations, and the virus populations within the GT of two of four women sampled longitudinally exhibited evidence of stability over time intervals on the order of weeks to months. Surprisingly, the transmitted founder variant was not derived from the predominant GT subpopulations. Rather, in each case, the transmitting variant was phylogenetically distinct from the sampled locally replicating population. Although the exact distribution of the virus population present in the GT at the time of transmission cannot be unambiguously defined in these human studies, it is unlikely, based on these data, that the transmission bottleneck is driven in every case by limited viral diversity in the donor GT or that HIV transmission is solely a stochastic event.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
Boeras DI, Hraber PT, Hurlston M, Evans-Strickfaden T, Bhattacharya T, Giorgi EE, Mulenga J, Karita E, Korber BT, Allen S, Hart CE, Derdeyn CA, Hunter E
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Role of donor genital tract HIV-1 diversity in the transmission bottleneck. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
2011;108(46):E1156-63 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1103764108