Scientific article
Open access

A highly virulent variant of HIV-1 circulating in the Netherlands

Published inScience, vol. 375, no. 6580, p. 540-545
Publication date2022-02-04
First online date2022-02-03

We discovered a highly virulent variant of subtype-B HIV-1 in the Netherlands. One hundred nine individuals with this variant had a 0.54 to 0.74 log10increase (i.e., a ~3.5-fold to 5.5-fold increase) in viral load compared with, and exhibited CD4 cell decline twice as fast as, 6604 individuals with other subtype-B strains. Without treatment, advanced HIV-CD4 cell counts below 350 cells per cubic millimeter, with long-term clinical consequences-is expected to be reached, on average, 9 months after diagnosis for individuals in their thirties with this variant. Age, sex, suspected mode of transmission, and place of birth for the aforementioned 109 individuals were typical for HIV-positive people in the Netherlands, which suggests that the increased virulence is attributable to the viral strain. Genetic sequence analysis suggests that this variant arose in the 1990s from de novo mutation, not recombination, with increased transmissibility and an unfamiliar molecular mechanism of virulence.

  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Female
  • Genome, Viral
  • Genotype
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1 / genetics
  • HIV-1 / pathogenicity
  • HIV-1 / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Netherlands
  • Phylogeny
  • Viral Load
  • Virulence
  • European Commission - Bridging the Evolution and Epidemiology of HIV in Europe [339251]
Citation (ISO format)
WYMANT, Chris et al. A highly virulent variant of HIV-1 circulating in the Netherlands. In: Science, 2022, vol. 375, n° 6580, p. 540–545. doi: 10.1126/science.abk1688
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Article (Published version)
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ISSN of the journal0036-8075

Technical informations

Creation08/25/2022 6:51:00 AM
First validation08/25/2022 6:51:00 AM
Update time03/16/2023 10:33:48 AM
Status update03/16/2023 10:33:46 AM
Last indexation02/01/2024 9:32:09 AM
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