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The biological importance of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) circulating recombinant form (CRF) CRF02_AG

Monday, 28 November, 2005 - 14:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Faculty: Science and Bio-engineering Sciences
D
2.01
Harr Njai
phd defence

This thesis focused on the diagnosis, pathogenesis (fitness) and prevention of CRF02_AG a
Circulating Recombinant Forms (CRF) of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1).
CRF02_AG is associated with rapidly spreading new epidemics in western African countries
where until recently this epidemic was maintained at relatively low level. This recombinant
is also predominant in West Central and East African countries where other subtypes cocirculate.

We developed and validated a relatively simple oligonucleotide probe hybridization assay
that can be used for monitoring the spread of CRF02 in the pandemic. We showed that
CRF02 has a replicative advantage on the parental A and G strains. This property may
explain the preferential spread of this recombinant in West-Central Africa amongst other
co-circulating strains. Finally, we showed that pretreatment of primary virus isolates of the
most prevalent strains (including CRF02) could effectively prevent infection of monocytederived
DC and T4 cells. The antiviral activity was determined in the nanomolar range, far
beneath the toxic and immunosuppressive dose, that offers a favorable perspective for the
development as microbicide.