The evolution of genomic RNA of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), subtype A, was studied in three Rwandan mother-child pairs over a period of 12-30 months. In two pairs a homogeneous subtype A V3 sequence population was observed at seroconversion and the virus populations in the children resembled those in the mothers. One of these mother-child pairs was infected with an A/C recombinant virus (Ap17/Cp24). In the third pair, a heterogeneous V3 sequence population was observed in the maternal seroconversion sample but the V3 sequence population in the child's sample was homogeneous. In each individual the intra- and intersample variation (between the seroconversion and follow-up samples) increased over time in both the V3 region and p17gag. Independent evolution for 1-2 years did not abolish the epidemiological relationship between virus populations in mother and child.


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