West African HIV-2-related human retrovirus with attenuated cytopathicity

Academic Article


  • Clinical and seroepidemiological studies in West Africa indicate that human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) is widespread and assocated with immunodeficiency states of variable degree. In this study, an isolate of HIV-2 from a patient in Senegal was molecularly cloned and characterized. This isolate (HIV-2ST) was shown by hybridization and restriction enzyme analysis to be more related to the prototpe HIV-2ROD than to other human or primate retoviruses. Cultures of HIV-2ST showed genotypic polymorphism, and clones of the virus had transmembrane envelope glycoproteins of 30 and 42 kilodaltons. Unlike other immunodeficiency viruses, HIV-2ST did not cause cell death or induce cell fusion in peripheral blood lymphocytes or in any of four CD4+ cell lines tested Although HIV-2ST entered cells by a CD4-dependent mechanism and replicated actively, cell-free transmission of the virus was retarded at the level of cell entry. These findings suggest that immunodeficiency viruses prevalent in West African populations are members of the HIV-2 virus group and that certain strains of this virus have attenuated virulence.
  • Published In

  • Science  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kong LI; Lee SW; Kappes JC; Parkin JS; Decker D; Hoxie JA; Hahn BH; Shaw GM
  • Start Page

  • 1525
  • End Page

  • 1529
  • Volume

  • 240
  • Issue

  • 4858