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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)