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Scand J Infect Dis. 1999;31(3):235-42.

Identification of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 subtypes B and F B/F recombinant and dual infection with these subtypes in Argentina.

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  • 1Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


DNA sequences encoding the third variable region (V3) of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein gp120 were obtained from 18 infected individuals residing in different regions of Argentina. Proviral DNA representing the env V3 region was obtained by PCR from uncultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and genetic heterogeneity was examined by phylogenetic analysis. Sequences representing the gag p17 region were also obtained for a subset of these samples. Moreover, 1 sample that it was not possible to classify according to initial phylogenetic analysis was further analysed by molecular cloning of both V3 and p17 regions. Phylogenetic analysis according to different methodologies were performed comparing obtained sequences with a set of reference sequences representing previously characterized HIV-1 subtypes. The recombinant identification program (RIP) was used to study the presence of possible recombinant sequences. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that viruses representing both subtypes B and F are circulating among HIV-1 infected individuals in Argentina. In addition, RIP analysis showed that an initially unclassified sequence exhibited similarities to subtypes B and F in different fragments of the V3 region. Separate phylogenetic analysis of each of these fragments revealed divergent clustering, suggesting that this sequence harbours a point of recombination within the V3 loop. Interestingly, we also identified a dually infected individual with viruses belonging to subtypes B and F, as demonstrated by molecular cloning analysis of the env V3 and the gag p17 regions. Taken together, our study shows that both subtypes B and F are circulating in different regions of Argentina. Moreover, the data presented here show that dual infections with subtypes B and F can occur, and consequently B/F recombinant sequences are arising in the region.

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