Caister Academic Press

Lentivirus Coinfections and Superinfections

Sue VandeWoude and Mary Poss
from: Lentiviruses and Macrophages: Molecular and Cellular Interactions (Edited by: Moira Desport). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)


The phenomenon of lentiviral superinfection, that is infection with a second unique strain of virus after a primary viremia has already been established, is an important aspect of lentivirus biology, and is being increasingly recognized as a method for rapid emergence of new strains via the process of recombination. Though there are both host and viral barriers to simultaneous coinfection following exposure with two unique lentiviruses, it is well established in both natural and experimental systems that infection with one strain of lentivirus does not impart resistance to superinfection. Viral kinetics and dynamics of infection are altered in coinfections relative to single infections. Superinfection may result in either diminished or enhanced virulence of the primary or secondary strain and may occur with high prevalence in individuals with repeated exposures. Evaluation of the incidence of naturally occurring superinfections, and biological behavior of experimental superinfections, either with host-adapted or non-host-adapted strains, provides insights into potential pitfalls and additional strategies to consider during lentiviral vaccine development. Analysis of lentiviral genome recombination events as a sequelae of superinfection enhances understanding of mechanisms of lentiviral evolution and virus-host adaptations. This chapter provides a review and comparison of lentiviral superinfections and resultant recombination outcomes in different hosts, including primate, felidae, and ruminant species, highlighting what these studies have revealed about lentiviral pathogenesis, host immune response to lentiviral infection, and viral genomic responses to superinfections read more ...
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