Publications & Reports

Characterization of three nef-defective human immunodeficiency virus type 1 strains associated with long-term nonprogression. Australian Long-Term Nonprogressor Study Group.

Rhodes DI, Ashton L, Solomon A, Carr A, Cooper D, Kaldor J, Deacon N
AIDS Molecular Biology Unit, National Centre in HIV Virology Research, Macfarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, Fairfield, Victoria 3078, Australia. [email protected]


Long-term survivors (LTS) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection provide an opportunity to investigate both viral and host factors that influence the rate of disease progression. We have identified three HIV-1-infected individuals in Australia who have been infected for over 11 years with viruses that contain deletions in the nef and nef-long terminal repeat (nef/LTR) overlap regions. These viruses differ from each other and from other nef-defective strains of HIV-1 previously identified in Australia. One individual, LTS 3, is infected with a virus containing a nef gene with a deletion of 29 bp from the nef/LTR overlap region, resulting in a truncated Nef open reading frame. In addition to the Nef defect, only viruses containing truncated Vif open reading frames of 37 or 69 amino acids could be detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from this patient. LTS 3 had a viral load of less than 20 copies of RNA/ml of plasma. The other two long-term survivors, LTS 9 and LTS 11, had loads of less than 200 copies of RNA/ml of plasma and are infected with viruses with larger deletions in both the nef alone and nef/LTR overlap regions. These viruses contain wild-type vif, vpu, and vpr accessory genes. All three strains of virus had envelope sequences characteristic of macrophagetropic viruses. These findings further indicate the reduced pathogenic potential of nef-defective viruses.


  • Journal: Journal of Virology
  • Published: 01/11/2000
  • Volume: 74
  • Issue: 22
  • Pagination: 10581-10588