Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 9621043
J Virol 1998 Jul; 72(7): 5831-9
A small number of cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have been reported in individuals with no identified risk factors for transmission. We report on the seroconversion of the 61-year-old mother and the subsequent finding of HIV seropositivity in the 66-year-old father of a 31-year-old AIDS patient. Extensive investigation failed to identify any risk factor for intrafamilial transmission. We conducted a genetic analysis and determined the amino acid signature patterns of the V3, V4, and V5 hypervariable domains and flanking regions in the HIV-1 gp120 env gene of 26 clones derived from proviral DNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of the members of the family. env sequences of the viruses isolated from the patients were compared with sequences of HIV-1 subtype B viruses from Europe and local field isolates. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the sequences of the viruses isolated from the patients were genetically related and formed an intrafamilial cluster of HIV-1 distinct from other subtype B viruses. Interindividual nucleotide variability in the C2-V3 and V4-C4-V5 domains ranged between 1.2 and 5.0% and between 2.2 and 7.5%, respectively, whereas divergence between HIV strains from the patients and control viral strains ranged from 6.6 to 29.3%. The amino acid signature patterns of viral clones from the three patients were closely related. In the C2-V3 region, two minor clones derived from the son’s virus showed less nucleotide divergence (mean, 3.5 and 3.9%) than did the clones derived from the viruses of both parents or the seven other predominant clones derived from the virus from the son (mean, 5.4%). The top of the V3 loop of the last two clones and of all viral clones from the parents exhibited an unusual GPGG sequence. This is the first report of genotypic relatedness of HIV-1 in three adults of the same family in the absence of identified risk factor for transmission between the members of the family. Our findings suggest that atypical transmission of HIV may occur.