High replication fitness and transmission efficiency of HIV-1 subtype C from India: Implications for subtype C predominance

Milka A. Rodriguez, Ming Ding, Deena Ratner, Yue Chen, Srikanth P. Tripathy, Smita S. Kulkarni, Ramdas Chatterjee, Patrick M. Tarwater, Phalguni Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

HIV-1 subtype C has been the predominant subtype throughout the course of the HIV-1 epidemic in India regardless of the geographic region of the country. In an effort to understand the mechanism of subtype C predominance in this country, we have investigated the in vitro replication fitness and transmission efficiency of HIV-1 subtypes A and C from India. Using a dual infection growth competition assay, we found that primary HIV-1 subtype C isolates had higher overall relative fitness in PBMC than subtype A primary isolates. Moreover, in an ex vivo cervical tissue derived organ culture, subtype C isolates displayed higher transmission efficiency across cervical mucosa than subtype A isolates. We found that higher fitness of subtype C was not due to a trans effect exerted by subtype C infected PBMC. A half genome A/C recombinant clone in which the 3′ half of the viral genome of subtype A was replaced with the corresponding subtype C3′ half, had similar replicative fitness as the parental subtype A. These results suggest that the higher replication fitness and transmission efficiency of subtype C virus compared to subtype A virus from India is most probably not due to the envelope gene alone and may be due to genes present within the 5′ half of the viral genome or to a more complex interaction between the genes located within the two halves of the viral genome. These data provide a model to explain the asymmetric distribution of subtype C over other subtypes in India.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-424
Number of pages9
JournalVirology
Volume385
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • HIV-1 replication fitness
  • HIV-1 subtype C from India
  • HIV-1 transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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  • Cite this

    Rodriguez, M. A., Ding, M., Ratner, D., Chen, Y., Tripathy, S. P., Kulkarni, S. S., Chatterjee, R., Tarwater, P. M., & Gupta, P. (2009). High replication fitness and transmission efficiency of HIV-1 subtype C from India: Implications for subtype C predominance. Virology, 385(2), 416-424. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2008.12.025