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Virology. 1999 Sep 30;262(2):312-20.

Molecular characterization of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 and -2 in individuals from guinea-bissau with single or dual infections: predominance of a distinct HIV-1 subtype A/G recombinant in West Africa.

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


Guinea-Bissau in West Africa has the highest prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-2 infection in the world, but recently the HIV-1 prevalence increased rapidly with the subsequent appearance of HIV-1 and HIV-2 dual infections. Information about the genetic subtypes of HIV in the region is limited. Therefore, we characterized the env V3 region of HIV-1 and HIV-2 variants through direct DNA sequencing of peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples from 18 individuals with HIV-1 only and 9 individuals with dual infection. Phylogenetic analyses of these new sequences and database sequences from other West African countries showed that all HIV-1 and HIV-2 sequences from singly as well as dually infected individuals, except one, clustered among HIV-1 subtype A and HIV-2 subtype A, respectively. Importantly, a majority of the HIV-1 sequences from Guinea-Bissau and neighbouring countries were closely related with the isolates IbNG, DJ263, and DJ264, which share a common subtype A/G recombination pattern. Analysis of pol gene sequences from selected HIV-1 variants showed that "IbNG-like" viruses in Guinea-Bissau are also recombinant, indicating that the HIV-1 epidemic in Guinea-Bissau and neighbouring countries is dominated by an epidemic spread of a distinct subtype A/G recombinant, which is strikingly similar to the epidemic spread of a subtype A/E recombinant in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, the HIV-1 and HIV-2 variants carried by individuals with dual infection were intermixed with variants from singly infected individuals, indicating that variants involved in dual and single infections have common epidemiological histories.

Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

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