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This article is part of the supplement: Abstracts from the 2nd International Science Symposium on HIV and Infectious Diseases (HIV SCIENCE 2014)

Open Access ePoster presentation

Genotypic characterization of HIV-1 C variants in PBMCs and cervicovaginal cells

Varsha M Prabhu, Varsha S Padwal, Shilpa M Velha and Atmaram H Bandivdekar*

Author Affiliations

Department of Biochemistry, National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai, India

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14(Suppl 3):E8  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-S3-E8

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/14/S3/E8


Published:27 May 2014

© 2014 Prabhu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Background

HIV-1 is primarily a mucosal pathogen since more than 80% of infections occur through genital exposure. Vaginal intercourse, though an inefficient mode of transmission, contributes more new infections worldwide than any other route. Also, the female reproductive tract has been identified as a compartment that harbors variants distinct from blood. Present study aims to highlight viral compartmentalization between these compartments reflecting inadequate ART penetration.

Methods

In this study blood and cervicovaginal swabs were collected from 8 female subjects. CD4 counts and viral loads were determined. Translated amino acid sequences of C2 v3 region of env gene of proviral HIV-1 C in PBMCs and genital cells were analyzed using N-Glycosite and Geno2pheno [Co receptor] 1.2 programs for presence of N linked glycosylation sites and co receptor preference, respectively.

Results

Characterization of translated amino acid sequences of C2 v3 region of env gene of HIV-1 C shows variation in the number of N linked glycosylation (NLG) sites and uniform co receptor preference. Viral load varies in blood and genital secretions.

Conclusion

Genotypic characterization of viral variants in blood and female reproductive tract can provide information regarding their association with sexual transmission of HIV. Difference in the number of NLG sites observed may influence the affinity for host cell co receptor. Discrepancies in viral load of blood and genital secretions suggest that ART may not be uniformly effective in suppression of viral load in different compartments of the same individual.