Lethal mutagenesis of HIV

Robert A. Smith, Lawrence A. Loeb, Bradley D. Preston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


HIV-1 and other retroviruses exhibit mutation rates that are 1,000,000-fold greater than their host organisms. Error-prone viral replication may place retroviruses and other RNA viruses near the threshold of "error catastrophe" or extinction due to an intolerable load of deleterious mutations. Strategies designed to drive viruses to error catastrophe have been applied to HIV-1 and a number of RNA viruses. Here, we review the concept of extinguishing HIV infection by "lethal mutagenesis" and consider the utility of this new approach in combination with conventional antiretroviral strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-228
Number of pages14
JournalVirus Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV-1
  • Lethal mutagenesis
  • Retroviruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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