Effect of antiretroviral therapy on HIV-1 genetic evolution during acute infection

A. Chamberland, M. Sylla, M. R. Boulassel, J. G. Baril, P. Côté, R. Thomas, B. Trottier, D. Rouleau, J. P. Routy, C. Tremblay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid evolution of HIV-1 is a major obstacle to viral eradication. Early antiretroviral therapy (ART) during primary HIV-1 infection could limit viral diversity. Eighteen patients recently infected with HIV-1 were selected. Nine initiated ART soon after enrolment and nine remained untreated. Replication-competent (RC) viruses were quanstified at baseline and after one year of follow-up. Viral diversity in the C2V5 envelope region was evaluated from plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and cell culture at both time points. The amount of RC virus in the treated group declined (median -5.42 infectious units per million [IUPM]) while it remained stable or increased in the untreated group (median +0.87 IUPM). At one year post infection, we observed a significant increase in diversity for the C2V5 (+0.150%) region, specifically in the hypervariable loops V4 (+0.73%) and V5 (+0.77%), in the untreated group. More importantly, viral diversity did not significantly increase in treated individuals during the first year post infection. Genetic diversity during primary infection remains low through the first year of infection. Early treatment could contribute to a decrease in RC viruses from PBMCs and to limitation of viral diversification in the viral reservoir. These findings may have relevance for the rational design of specific immunotherapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-150
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute infection
  • Primary HIV-1
  • Sequence diversity
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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