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Review
, 2 (8), 461-71

Molecular Epidemiology of HIV-1 Genetic Forms and Its Significance for Vaccine Development and Therapy

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Review

Molecular Epidemiology of HIV-1 Genetic Forms and Its Significance for Vaccine Development and Therapy

Michael M Thomson et al. Lancet Infect Dis.

Abstract

Since their initial expansion in human beings roughly seven decades ago in central Africa, the HIV-1 pandemic strains have diversified extensively through mutation and recombination. 24 circulating genetic forms of the main HIV-1 group are presently recognised, including 11 subtypes or sub-subtypes and 13 circulating recombinant forms. New genetic forms are being introduced in different areas of the world, changing the molecular epidemiology of the infection. It is generally agreed that the control of the HIV-1 pandemic requires the development of vaccines that efficiently protect against the range of HIV-1 genetic forms. The introduction of effective antiretroviral therapies in areas of high HIV-1 prevalence may also contribute to the control of the pandemic, as has been documented in developed countries. Efficient targeting of the extensive genetic diversity of HIV-1 constitutes one of the major challenges in present efforts against the pandemic, although the significance of HIV-1 genetic forms for vaccine development and therapy remains to be defined.

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