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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2000 Dec 10;16(18):2059-64.

Identification of a complex env subtype E HIV type 1 virus from the democratic republic of congo, recombinant with A, G, H, J, K, and unknown subtypes.

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  • 1Laboratoire Retrovirus, IRD, 34032 Montpellier Cedex 1, France.


Up to now, all known env subtype E viruses (CRF01-AE) have had the same mosaic structure with subtype A, and no other env subtype E HIV-1 viruses with non-A subtypes in their genomes have been described. In this report we describe the full-length genome sequence of an env subtype E isolate with a recombinant genome different from the prototype CRF01-AE strains. The 97CD-KTB49 strain, obtained from a tuberculosis patient in Kinshasa, has a complex mosaic genome involving subtypes A, E, G, H, J, K, and several unknown fragments. The U sequences formed well-separated clusters together with previously described unknown fragments from CRF04-cpx (subtype I), and from Z321, the oldest intersubtype recombinant isolated in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The complex recombinant virus from our study is not an isolated strain; partial sequencing of a second strain, 97CD-KFE45, confirmed the breakpoints observed in the 97CD-KTB49 strain in the regions sequenced. The complexity of these recombinant strains suggests a longstanding presence of subtype E in Central Africa.

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