Human immunodeficiency virus types 1 and 2 (HIV-I and HIV-2), the causative agents of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in humans, are members of the Lentivirinae subfamily of the Retroviridae family. The lentivirus subfamily also includes related members from other species, like monkeys (simian immunodeficiency viruses [SIV]), cats (feline immunodeficiency viruses [FIV]), and the ungulates sheep, goats, horses and cattle. Mature lentiviruses are spherical to ellipsoid particles with a diameter of approximately 100 nm consisting of a lipid envelope surrounding a cone shaped core (Gelderblom et al 1989) (Fig. I). In HIV-I the core is formed by a 24 kd capsid protein (p24). It contains two identical strands of positive-sense genomic RNA closely associated with the nucleocapsid proteins (p7 and p9) and several copies of the reverse transcriptase. A membrane associated matrix protein p 17 is situated between the core and the envelope. In the envelope a 41 kd transmembrane glycoprotein (gp41) is anchored. The transmembrane protein is non-covalently attached to the 120 kd surface glycoprotein (gpI20). The other lentiviruses have a similar structure, with slightly different molecular weights of their proteins.

, , , , ,
Advisory Council on Health Research (ROO), The National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), European Veterinary Laboratory B.V., MSD B.V.,
A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Tijhaar, E. (1997, October 29). Lentivirus Vaccine Development: Antigen presentation by Salmonella and iscom. Retrieved from