A systematic review of definitions of extreme phenotypes of HIV control and progression.

Deepti Gurdasani, Louise Iles, David G. Dillon, Elizabeth H. Young, Ashley D. Olson, Vivek Naranbhai, Sarah Fidler, Effrossyni Gkrania-Klotsas, Frank A. Post, Paul Kellam, Kholoud Porter, Manjinder S. Sandhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study of individuals at opposite ends of the HIV clinical spectrum can provide invaluable insights into HIV biology. Heterogeneity in criteria used to define these individuals can introduce inconsistencies in results from research and make it difficult to identify biological mechanisms underlying these phenotypes. In this systematic review, we formally quantified the heterogeneity in definitions used for terms referring to extreme phenotypes in the literature, and identified common definitions and components used to describe these phenotypes. We assessed 714 definitions of HIV extreme phenotypes in 501 eligible studies published between 1 January 2000 and 15 March 2012, and identified substantial variation among these. This heterogeneity in definitions may represent important differences in biological endophenotypes and clinical progression profiles of individuals selected by these, suggesting the need for harmonized definitions. In this context, we were able to identify common components in existing definitions that may provide a framework for developing consensus definitions for these phenotypes in HIV infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-162
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2014


  • Definitions
  • Elite controllers
  • Extreme-trait designs
  • HIV
  • HIV controllers
  • Long-term nonprogressors
  • Phenotypes
  • Slow progressors
  • Systematic review
  • Viremic controllers

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