Immunodeficiency Virus 1 - Replication


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Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1


Life cycle

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HIV entry

Viral fitness

Environmental conditions in which HIV-1 performs its life cycle are not constant but rather fluctuate in time, and vary from cell to cell, from compartment to compartment and from host to host. Perturbations in environmental conditions impose selective pressures on the virus that shape the genotype and fitness of the virus. Consequently, viral fitness is highly dependent on the environment.

Viral fitness results from the interplay between the environment and all genes and processes that have a role in the viral life cycle, and is defined by the ability of an individual genotype to produce infectious progeny in a specified environment.

The replication rate is often used as a measure of viral fitness because it is a trait that takes the complete viral life cycle into account. The environment in which a virus completes its life cycle contains many different selectional cues that shape the genome and that severely complicate an accurate measurement of fitness.

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