Recombination-mediated escape from primary CD8+ T cells in acute HIV-1 infection.
Ritchie AJ., Cai F., Smith NMG., Chen S., Song H., Brackenridge S., Abdool Karim SS., Korber BT., McMichael AJ., Gao F., Goonetilleke N.
BACKGROUND: A major immune evasion mechanism of HIV-1 is the accumulation of non-synonymous mutations in and around T cell epitopes, resulting in loss of T cell recognition and virus escape. RESULTS: Here we analyze primary CD8+ T cell responses and virus escape in a HLA B*81 expressing subject who was infected with two T/F viruses from a single donor. In addition to classic escape through non-synonymous mutation/s, we also observed rapid selection of multiple recombinant viruses that conferred escape from T cells specific for two epitopes in Nef. CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that recombination between multiple T/F viruses provide greater options for acute escape from CD8+ T cell responses than seen in cases of single T/F virus infection. This process may contribute to the rapid disease progression in patients infected by multiple T/F viruses.