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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-15

Human immunodeficiency virus type-2-A milder, kinder virus: An update

1 Department of Clinical Virology, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 055, India
2 Division of Biomedical Research, Sri Narayani Hospital and Research Centre, Vellore - 632 055, India

Correspondence Address:
R Kannangai
Department of Clinical Virology, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 055
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0255-0857.93014

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Human immunodeficiency virus type-2 (HIV-2) belongs to the family retroviridae which is phylogenetically clusters with SIV SM from sooty mangabeys. This virus is morphologically similar to human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) but has got only a 40% homology at the nucleotide level. There is a distinct geographical distribution of HIV-2 unlike HIV-1. There are currently eight subtypes/groups identified with subtype/group A responsible for the majority of infections. HIV-2 shows a considerable difference in the course of the disease. Clinical, haematological and immunological evaluation of individuals infected with HIV-2 has shown the virus to be less pathogenic than HIV-1 although the exact mechanism underlying this difference is not well defined. Similar to HIV-1, the HIV-2 isolates also showed distinct replicative and cytopathic characteristics. The transmission rate for HIV-2 compared to HIV-1 is very low both by heterosexual route and mother to child transmission. The clinical signs and symptoms of immunodeficiency associated with HIV-2 are similar to the ones seen among the HIV-1-infected individuals and they can also progress to AIDS. It is naturally resistant to NNRTI and hence the diagnosis become important as it affects the treatment strategy. Similar to HIV-1, HIV-2 strains of infected individuals also show mutations that can cause drug resistance. The current evidence suggests that there is no protective effective for HIV-2 against HIV-1.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
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