Human Immunodeficiency Viruses

  • Jörg Schüpbach
Conference paper
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 142)


HIVs, a family of related lentiviruses etiologically associated with AIDS, now include at least two, possibly three different types (Fig. 5). The “classical” isolates comprise those viruses originally isolated from patients with AIDS and related diseases and variably designated LAV, HTLV-III, or ARV which were identified as the etiological agents of AIDS in 1984 (Barré-Sinoussi et al. 1983; Gallo et al. 1984; Popovic et al. 1985b; Sarngadharan et al. 1984; Schüpbach et al. 1984b; Levy et al. 1984). These viruses, now referred to as HIV-1 (Coffin et al. 1986), are responsible for the current AIDS epidemic in central Africa, Europe, the Americas, and other regions of the world. A novel type of HIV, HIV-2, has been identified as LAV-2 in AIDS patients of West African origin (Clavel et al. 1986a), and as HTLV-IV in healthy prostitutes of this region (Kanki et al. 1986: see “Natural History of HIV Infection”, p. 37). Its progress in Europe and the United States appears to be slow and, at the moment, HIV-2 is not of quantitative importance in these areas. A third type of AIDS-associated virus, distantly related to HIV-2 may have recently been identified in Nigerian patients with disease similar to AIDS and is likely to be dubbed HIV-3 (R. C. Gallo, communication at the third International Conference on AIDS, Washington DC, June 1–5, 1987).
Fig. 5.

Classification of human immunodeficiency viruses. HIV-1 includes the “classical” AIDS viruses identified as the cause of the current AIDS epidemic of the United States, Europe, and other regions of the world. HIV-2 has recently been isolated from patients in West Africa. A virus recently isolated from a Nigerian patient with AIDS-like diasease may represent another type, HIV-3. It is likely that still other types may exist (HIV-n). Different isolates of a given group may have different pathogenic properties which may vary from severe (causing AIDS after short incubation periods) to mild (perhaps not causing full AIDS, or perhaps only after very long incubation times)


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Drug Addict Equine Infectious Anemia Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Risk Mucous Membrane Contact 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg Schüpbach
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss National Center for Retroviruses, Institute of Immunology and VirologyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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