June 19, 2024

HIV Infections Are More Virulent When Transmitted Through Heterosexual Intercourse

The authors discovered that infections transferred via penile-vaginal intercourse correlated with lower T cell counts than in the MSM risk group, recommending greater selective pressure at transmission, and, in turn, resulting in more virulent strains than in transmission by MSM. According to the authors, “Transmission bottlenecks are anticipated to drive HIV-1 advancement and affect the design of prevention strategies. The bottlenecks are impacted by the mode of transmission. Since different risk groups tend to utilize various predominant modes of transmission, it is possible that the strains of HIV-1, straight impacted by the bottlenecks, may have progressed differently in the different groups.

HIV bottlenecks are impacted by different modes of viral transmission. Credit: Superpixel Designs
Study recommends that various modes of transmission are related to infection development.
Variations in virus pressures in various populations are associated with differing disease severity and treatment results. A study published on March 10, 2022, in PLOS Pathogens by Ananthu James and Narendra Dixit at Indian Institute of Science, India suggests that HIV-1 is more virulent when transferred through penile-vaginal intercourse than anal intercourse due to transmission traffic jams.
Transmission bottlenecks present selection pressures, or development chances that result in a trimmer infection. How these modifications manifest in various danger groups has actually not been previously described. To much better comprehend differences in transmission-related virus fitness in men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) and individuals who engaged in penile-vaginal sexual intercourse, researchers examined T cell counts by collating data previously collected in large studies of MSM and non-MSM individuals infected with HIV.

The authors discovered that infections transmitted via penile-vaginal sexual intercourse associated with lower T cell counts than in the MSM threat group, suggesting higher selective pressure at transmission, and, in turn, leading to more virulent pressures than in transmission by MSM. The study was limited by its reliance on population level datasets that might not account for particular habits that reduced or increased danger of infection or stratify non-sexually transferred infections in either risk group. Further research studies are needed to examine private level transmission and infection data.
According to the authors, “Transmission traffic jams are expected to drive HIV-1 development and influence the design of avoidance methods. The traffic jams are affected by the mode of transmission. Because different threat groups tend to use various predominant modes of transmission, it is possible that the strains of HIV-1, directly affected by the bottlenecks, might have developed differently in the different groups. These findings have ramifications for our understanding of HIV-1 evolution, pathogenesis, and public health.”
” Different modes of transmission of HIV from one individual to another can apply various bottlenecks on the virus,” Dixit includes. “Analysis of early CD4 count measurements from over 340,000 patients exposes more virulent transferred HIV pressures in heterosexual individuals than men-who-have-sex-with-men, possibly affecting the HIV epidemic differently in these groups.”
Recommendation: “Transmitted HIV-1 is more virulent in heterosexual individuals than men-who-have-sex-with-men” by Ananthu James and Narendra M. Dixit, 10 March 2022, PLOS Pathogens.DOI: 10.1371/ journal.ppat.1010319.