Infecting HIV-1 Subtype Predicts Disease Progression in Women of Sub-Saharan Africa

Academic Article


  • Introduction Long-term natural history cohorts of HIV-1 in the absence of treatment provide the best measure of virulence by different viral subtypes. Methods Newly HIV infected Ugandan and Zimbabwean women (N = 303) were recruited and monitored for clinical, social, behavioral, immunological and viral parameters for 3 to 9.5 years. Results Ugandan and Zimbabwean women infected with HIV-1 subtype C had 2.5-fold slower rates of CD4 T-cell declines and higher frequencies of long-term non-progression than those infected with subtype A or D (GEE model, P < 0.001), a difference not associated with any other clinical parameters. Relative replicative fitness and entry efficiency of HIV-1 variants directly correlated with virulence in the patients, subtype D > A > C (P < 0.001, ANOVA). Discussion HIV-1 subtype C was less virulent than either A or D in humans; the latter being the most virulent. Longer periods of asymptomatic HIV-1 subtype C could explain the continued expansion and dominance of subtype C in the global epidemic.
  • Published In

  • EBioMedicine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Venner CM; Nankya I; Kyeyune F; Demers K; Kwok C; Chen PL; Rwambuya S; Munjoma M; Chipato T; Byamugisha J
  • Start Page

  • 305
  • End Page

  • 314
  • Volume

  • 13