Intrapatient escape in the A*0201-restricted epitope SLYNTVATL drives evolution of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 at the population level.
Edwards CTT., Pfafferott KJ., Goulder PJR., Phillips RE., Holmes EC.
The hypothesis that the intrapatient emergence of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte escape variants contributes to the evolution of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 at the population (interpatient) level was tested using the HLA-A*0201-restricted gag p17 epitope SLYNTVATL. Using a simple experimental design, we investigated the evolutionary processes operating within this epitope among patients while compensating for the confounding influence of intrapatient natural selection. Using this approach, we revealed a pattern of A*0201-driven escape within patients, followed by the sustained transmission of these escape variants among patients irrespective of their HLA type.