HIV-1 and HIV-2 dual infection: Lack of HIV-2 provirus correlates with low CD4+ lymphocyte counts

Abdoulaye Dieng Sarr, Donald J. Hamel, Ibou Thior, Efi Kokkotou, Jean Louis Sankalé, Richard G. Marlink, Eva Marie Coll-Seck, Myron E. Essex, Tidiane Siby, Ibrahima NDoye, Souleymane Mboup, Phyllis J. Kanki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective: We conducted this study to genetically characterize dual infection in individuals demonstrating a dual serological profile. Methods: All subjects were first evaluated by immunoblot for antibody reactivity to the major viral antigens for HIV-1 and HIV-2. Sera were judged to be dual-seropositive if they reacted with strong and equal intensity with the envelope antigens of both HIV-1 and HIV-2 and were confirmed with type-specific recombinant env peptides. We used nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify proviral gag and env sequence from peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) DNA from HIV-1- and HIV-2-infected individuals. Positive amplification was detected after Southern blot hybridization. Results: Plasmid dilution and mixing showed equivalent sensitivity of HIV-1 and HIV-2 primers that was not altered by heterologous target sequences. The DNA PCR showed 100% sensitivity and specificity for detection of monotypic HIV infection. Serologically defined HIV-dual reactives were evaluated by this assay, with 100% detection in female sex workers (21 out of 21), but only 38.5% detection (five out of 13) in hospitalized patients; all being HIV-1 positive only. The lack of HIV-2 proviral signal was significantly correlated with low CD4+ lymphocyte counts (P value = 0.04). Conclusion: The results suggest that HIV dual infection may not be a static condition. Levels of HIV-2 may decrease with disease progression or sequester in tissue reservoirs; our results may also suggest that HIV-1 effectively overgrows HIV-2 in the dually exposed host individual.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-137
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 22 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


  • Dual infection
  • HIV
  • Nested polymerase chain reaction


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