Selection bias at the heterosexual HIV-1 transmission bottleneck
Carlson JM., Schaefer M., Monaco DC., Batorsky R., Claiborne DT., Prince J., Deymier MJ., Ende ZS., Klatt NR., DeZiel CE., Lin T-H., Peng J., Seese AM., Shapiro R., Frater J., Ndung’u T., Tang J., Goepfert P., Gilmour J., Price MA., Kilembe W., Heckerman D., Goulder PJR., Allen TM., Allen S., Hunter E.
HIV needs to be fit to transmit Although you might not think it, it's hard to catch HIV. Less than 1% of unprotected sexual exposures result in infection. What then leads to transmission? Carlson et al. determined the amino acid sequence of viruses infecting 137 Zambian heterosexual couples in which one partner infected the other (see the Perspective by Joseph and Swanstrom). The authors then used statistical modeling and found that transmitted viruses are typically the most evolutionarily fit. That is, compared to other viral variants in the infected person, the transmitted virus most closely matches the most common viral sequence found in the Zambian population. Science , this issue 10.1126/science.1254031 ; see also p. 136