Volume 5 Supplement 1

Fourth Dominique International Conference. Maternal chronic viral infections transmitted to infants: from mechanisms to prevention and care

Open Access

Characteristics of HIV-1 gp120 env sequences in mother-child pairs infected with HIV-1 subtype CRF01_AE

  • Tanawan Samleerat1, 2,
  • Martine Braibant2,
  • Gonzague Jourdain3, 4,
  • Alain Moreau2,
  • Nicole Ngo-Giang-Huong3, 4,
  • Pranee Leechanachai1,
  • Jittapol Hemvuttiphan5,
  • Temsiri Hinjiranandana6,
  • Tikamporn Changchit7,
  • Boonyarat Warachit8,
  • Veera Suraseranivong9,
  • Marc Lallemant3, 4 and
  • Francis Barin2
Retrovirology20085(Suppl 1):P5

https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-4690-5-S1-P5

Published: 9 April 2008

Background

Previous studies have suggested that mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 is often characterized by acquisition of a homogeneous viral quasispecies in the infant [13], suggestive of a genetic bottleneck. In this study, we have analyzed the molecular characteristics of transmitted HIV-1 viruses in a homogeneous population infected by CRF01_AE variants in Thailand.

Materials and methods

Seventeen mother-child pairs were studied. The infants were not breastfed. Six infants were infected in utero and 11 infants were infected intrapartum. The env sequences covering the entire gp120 were amplified from both the proviral DNA of maternal PBMC collected at delivery and the plasma viral RNA at first positive time point of infants. The amplified products were cloned and sequenced. A total of 353 clones were available for analysis.

Results

Phylogenetic analysis indicated 2 patterns of transmission: 14 mothers transmitted a single variant and 3 mothers transmitted multiple variants to their infants. The mean genetic distance of viruses from the mothers was significantly higher than those from the infants (2.7% vs. 0.6%; P<0.01), but without any difference according to timing of transmission, either in utero or intrapartum. The length of gp120 and number of potential N-linked glycosylation sites (PNGS) were similar in both the entire gp120 and individual regions of gp120 of all mother-child pairs. However, our data indicate that 4 PNGS positions (N241, N301, N354, and N384) that appeared conserved in all infant variants but were irregularly present in the mothers might be associated to a selective advantage. In addition, we report the first case to our knowledge of transmission to an infant of a recombinant virus issued from variants from his mother.

Conclusions

Our results provide additional evidence that despite a complex viral population in the mother, only viruses of a restricted subset are transmitted to the infant, independently of the timing of transmission, in utero or intrapartum. We did not find that shorter gp120 or fewer PNGS were characteristics of viruses transmitted from mother to infant, as it was suggested for sexually transmitted viruses at least for a few subtypes [47]. Four PNGS were selected for transmitted viruses, supporting the role of the “glycan shield” of the HIV-1 envelope in conferring a selective advantage.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Chiang Mai University
(2)
Université François-Rabelais, INSERM ERI 19 & CHRU de Tours
(3)
Harvard University, IRD 054
(4)
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, UMI 174
(5)
Phayao Hospital
(6)
Somdej Pranangchao Sirikit Hospital
(7)
Phan Hospital
(8)
Hat Yai Hospital
(9)
Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital

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Copyright

© Samleerat et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.

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