HIV-1 subtype C syncytium- and non-syncytium-inducing phenotypes and coreceptor usage among Ethiopian patients with AIDS

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



To assess syncytium-inducing (SI) and non-syncytium-inducing (NSI) frequencies, coreceptor usage and gp120V3 sequences of HIV-1 isolates from Ethiopian AIDS patients.


Cross-sectional study on 48 hospitalized AIDS patients (CD4 T cells <200¥106 cell/l) with stage III or IV of the WHO staging system for HIV-1 infection and disease.


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from all 48 patients were tested by MT-2 assay to determine SI/NSI phenotypes. Lymphocyte subsets were enumerated using Coulter counting and FACScan analysis. Viral load determination used a nucleic acid sequence-based amplification assay (NASBA). Coreceptor usage of HIV-1 biological clones was measured using U87 CD4/chemokine receptor transfectants and phytohemagglutinin-stimulated PBMC of healthy donors with wild-type CCR5 and homozygous mutation CCR5D32 (a 32 base-pair deletion in CCR5). Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction sequencing was performed on the third variable region (V3) of the HIV-1 gene gp120. Sequence alignments were done manually; phylogenetic analyses used PHYLIP software packages.


SI viruses were detected for 3/48 (6%) AIDS patients only. Lower mean absolute CD4 counts were determined in patients with SI virus compared with NSI (P=0.04), but no differences in viral load were observed. All patients were found to be infected with HIV-1 subtype C, based on V3 sequencing. NSI biological clones used CCR5 as coreceptor; SI biological clones used CXCR4 and/or CCR5 and/or CCR3.


Ethiopian patients with HIV-1 C-subtype AIDS harbour a remarkably low frequency of SI phenotype viruses. Coreceptor usage of these viruses correlates with their biological phenotypes.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles

Join Ovid Insights!

Benefits of Ovid Insights Include:

  • Consolidated email digests of the latest research in your favorite topics
  • A personalized dashboard of your topics all on one page 
  • Tools to bookmark and share articles of interest
  • Ability to customize and save your own searches

Register with Ovid Insights »