AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses vol:17 issue:13 pages:1241-7
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the etiological agent of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), shows a variety of biological properties, which may constitute an obstacle to development of effective vaccines or antiretroviral therapy. To characterize Brazilian strains of HIV-1, we studied 24 viruses isolated from blood samples of HIV-1-positive patients from different regions of the country. To examine the cell tropism and the virus ability to form syncytia, primary macrophages and the CD4+ T cell line MT-2 were infected with these viruses. We found that 22 isolates replicated well in macrophages (macrophage-tropic isolates), 2 infected only MT-2 cells (T cell line tropic variants), while 6 of them grew in both cells. We found 8 syncytium-inducing (SI) and 16 non-SI (NSI) isolates. Continuous cultures of 18 isolates were established in the CCR5+/CXCR4+ cell line PM-1, and SI/NSI features of these viruses were confirmed by cell fusion assay with uninfected CD4+ T cell lines (PM-1, MT-2, H9, and SUP-T1). The coreceptor usage of 18 isolates was investigated by infecting U87 cells transfected with CD4 and chemokine receptors, and we found that 11 isolates infected only CCR5+ cells, 3 only CXCR4+ cells, whereas 4 used both coreceptors. We also observed that X4 isolates were more sensitive to neutralization by dextran sulfate than R5 or R5X4 viruses. Our findings show that the Brazilian isolates are phenotypically similar to those prevalent in other regions, which could mean that therapeutic strategies based on HIV-1 phenotypic properties would be efficient in Brazil, as in other countries.