HIV-1 Expressing the Envelopes of Transmitted/Founder or Control/Reference Viruses Have Similar Infection Patterns of CD4 T-Cells in Human Cervical Tissue Ex Vivo

Melanie Merbah, Anush Arakelyan, Tara Edmonds, Christina Ochsenbauer, John C. Kappes, Robin J. Shattock, Jean Charles Grivel, Leonid B. Margolis

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, it was found that 80% of sexual HIV-1 transmissions are established by a single virion/viral genome. To investigate whether the transmitted/founder (T/F) viruses have specific biological properties favoring sexual transmission, we inoculated human cervical tissue explants with isogenic HIV-1 viruses encoding Env sequences from T/F and control reference (C/R) HIV-1 variants as well as with full length T/F HIV-1 and compared their replication efficiencies, T cell depletion, and the activation status of infected cells. We found that all the HIV-1 variants were capable of transmitting infection to cervical tissue ex vivo and in this system preferentially replicate in activated CD4 T cells and deplete these cells. There was no difference in the biological properties of T/F and C/R HIV-1 variants as evaluated in ex vivo cervical tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere50839
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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