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Recombinant HIV

Jul 28, 1998

Dear Doctor:

Were the recombinant HIV strains identified to date detected through conventional testing (i.e., ELISA, viral load, DNA PCR)? If not, how were they detected? Also, how big a concern are recombinant strains in the U.S.? Thanks.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Recombination of HIV viral strains is best accomplished by molecular sequencing of different genes, particularly the outer envelope. They would not be detected by the conventional tests that you list. Small stages of recombination probably occur within a patient, given the different species that can exist in different compartments. Subtype recombination is probably less of an issue in the US. MH

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