Impaired human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replicative fitness in atypical viremic non-progressor individuals
Research has undergone considerable development in understanding a small subset of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected, therapy-naive individuals who maintain a favorable course of infection surviving for longer periods of time. Although, viral, host genetic, and immunological factors have been analyzed in many previous studies in order to delineate mechanisms that contribute to non-progressive HIV disease, there appears to be a no clear cut winner and the non-progressive HIV disease in <1% of HIV-infected individuals appears to be a complex interplay between viral and host factors. Therefore, it is important to review them separately to signify their potential contribution to non-progressive HIV disease. With respect to virological features, genomic sequencing of HIV-1 strains derived from long-term non-progressors has shown that some individuals are infected with attenuated strains of HIV-1 and harbor mutations from single nucleotide polymorphisms to large deletions in HIV-1 structure, regulatory, and accessory genes. The elucidation of functional attributes of defective/attenuated HIV strains may provide better understanding of viral pathogenesis and the discovery of new therapeutic strategies against HIV. This review mainly focuses on the defects in viral genes that possibly guide non-progressive HIV disease.