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Eberle, Josef and Gürtler, Lutz (2012): HIV Types, Groups, Subtypes and Recombinant Forms: Errors in Replication, Selection Pressure and Quasispecies. In: Intervirology, No. 2: pp. 79-83 [PDF, 112kB]


HIV-1 is a chimpanzee virus which was transmitted to humans by several zoonotic events resulting in infection with HIV-1 groups M P, and in parallel transmission events from sooty mangabey monkey viruses leading to infections with HIV-2 groups A H. Both viruses have circulated in the human population for about 80 years. In the infected patient, HIV mutates, and by elimination of some of the viruses by the action of the immune system individual quasispecies are formed. Along with the selection of the fittest viruses, mutation and recombination after superinfection with HIV from different groups or subtypes have resulted in the diversity of their patterns of geographic distribution. Despite the high variability observed, some essential parts of the HIV genome are highly conserved. Viral diversity is further facilitated in some parts of the HIV genome by drug selection pressure and may also be enhanced by different genetic factors, including HLA in patients from different regions of the world. Viral and human genetic factors influence pathogenesis. Viral genetic factors are proteins such as Tat, Vif and Rev. Human genetic factors associated with a better clinical outcome are proteins such as APOBEC, langerin, tetherin and chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) and HLA B27, B57, DRB1{*}1303, KIR and PARD3B. Copyright (C) 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel

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