Changes in virulence and fitness during an epidemic are common among pathogens. Several studies have shown that HIV fitness increases within a patient during disease progression, while bottlenecks, such as sexual transmission, immune pressure and drug treatment can reduce fitness. In this study, we analyzed how these opposing forces have shaped HIV-1 fitness over time. Therefore, we compared the replicative fitness of HIV-1 isolates from newly infected untreated individuals, diagnosed for HIV-1 infection early in the AIDS epidemic in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with more recent isolates. Twenty-five early and late HIV-1 isolates, carefully matched for seroconversion time, were competed head-to-head in a dual infection/competition assay, employing peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In contrast with previous studies, we observed a trend of increasing fitness over time in the HIV epidemic of Amsterdam. Apparently, the bottleneck, occurring with each transmission event, does not completely reset the fitness increase acquired during disease progression. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gali, Y., Berkhout, B., Vanham, G., Bakker, M., Back, N. K. T., & Ariën, K. K. (2007). Survey of the temporal changes in HIV-1 replicative fitness in the Amsterdam Cohort. Virology, 364(1), 140–146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2007.02.021