Mullins Molecular Retrovirology Lab

  • Department of Microbiology
  • School of Medicine
  • University of Washington
University of Washington/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research

Citation Information

Frenkel LM, Mullins JI, Learn GH, Manns-Arcuino L, Herring BL, Kalish ML, Steketee RW, Thea DM, Nichols JE, Liu SL, Harmache A, He X, Muthui D, Madan A, Hood L, Haase AT, Zupancic M, Staskus K, Wolinsky S, Krogstad P, Zhao J, Chen I, Koup R, Ho D, Korber B, Apple RJ, Coombs RW, Pahwa S, Roberts NJ (1998). Genetic evaluation of suspected cases of transient HIV-1 infection of infants. Science (New York, N.Y.), 280(5366), 1073-7. (pubmed)


Detection of human immunodeficiency virus-type 1 (HIV-1) on only one or a few occasions in infants born to infected mothers has been interpreted to indicate that infection may be transient rather than persistent. Forty-two cases of suspected transient HIV-1 viremia among 1562 perinatally exposed seroreverting infants and one mother were reanalyzed. HIV-1 env sequences were not found in specimens from 20; in specimens from 6, somatic genetic analysis revealed that specimens were mistakenly attributed to an infant; and in specimens from 17, phylogenetic analysis failed to demonstrate the expected linkage between the infant’s and the mother’s virus. These findings argue that transient HIV-1 infection, if it exists, will only rarely be satisfactorily documented.

Supplemental Data

Supplemental Material from this study is available on the Science web site.

GenBank Accession Numbers AF065488-AF065598 correspond to novel sequences for this study.

The nucleotide alignments used to generate the figures are also available:

  • Figure 1 - Ariel Project Sequences (fasta, nexus)
  • Figure 2 - UW, CATG 076, CDC Sequences (fasta, nexus)
  • Figure 3 - University of Rochester Mother/Infant pair (fasta, nexus)

The following News Releases relate to this study:

UW Press Release (May 18, 1998)


Seattle Times

Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report

CDC NCHSTP Daily News Update

  • May 15, 1998
  • May 22, 1998
  • May 28, 1998 (correction)