Infection with dual-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 variants associated with rapid total T cell decline and disease progression in injection drug users

Xiao Fang Yu, Zhe Wang, David Vlahov, Richard B. Markham, Homayoon Farzadegan, Joseph B. Margolick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The characteristics of sequential human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolates from 12 seroconverters among injection drug users selected for either rapid or slow disease progression were evaluated. All 6 patients who developed AIDS within 5 years were initially infected with syncytiuminducing (SI) variants or showed a transition from non-SI-inducing (NSI) to SI variants. Detection of SI variants was associated with rapid decline of both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. In contrast, the 6 slow progressors carried only NSI variants and maintained stable or increasing CD8+ T cell levels. The SI variants that were associated with initial infection were dual tropic, with efficient replication in primary macrophages and T cell lines. These results suggest that the ability to replicate in macrophages, rather than the SI or NSI phenotype per se, may be an important determinant of HIV- 1 transmission and that dual-tropic viruses, when transmitted, may be associated with rapid progression to AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-396
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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