Date of this Version
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses (2002) 18: 1,415-1,423.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype C constitutes a majority of the newly transmitted cases of HIV-1 in many developing countries. There is growing evidence suggesting that subtype C viruses may display characteristics that make them distinct from subtype B and other subtypes, and such differences may affect its transmission and pathogenesis in infected individuals. In this study, HIV-1 sequences from the C2–V4 region of the envelope gene were analyzed from four infected mother–infant pairs (MIPs) after perinatal transmission in Zambia. We found that all viral isolates from four Zambian MIPs were of the subtype C HIV-1 subgroup. All tested isolates were macrophage tropic and did not infect any tested T cell lines or form syncytia in vitro. In addition, the isolates appear to use exclusively the CCR5 coreceptor. Phylogenetic analyses clearly indicated two contrasting phylogenetic transmission patterns for the four MIPs analyzed in the present study. Three cases displayed a pattern of selective transmission of a single or a few variants, and one case was found to transmit multiple maternal HIV-1 variants to her infant. The differences in the mode and timing of transmission may account for the observed transmission pattern among four MIPs.