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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2013 Aug;29(8):1123-8. doi: 10.1089/AID.2013.0067. Epub 2013 May 31.

Determination of the high prevalence of Dual/Mixed- or X4-tropism among HIV type 1 CRF01_AE in Hong Kong by genotyping and phenotyping methods.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Queen Mary Hospital, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.


In Hong Kong, the CCR5 antagonist has recently been introduced into salvage therapy for multiclass drug-resistant HIV-1-infected patients. Coreceptor usage must be determined prior to the usage of the CCR5 antagonist, which does not inhibit X4-tropic viruses. This study aimed to determine the tropism prevalence for HIV-1 subtypes B and CRF01_AE in Hong Kong. In addition, a modified promoter-PCR phenotypic assay was used to validate the genotypic tropism prediction on CRF01_AE. One hundred and five subtype B and 98 CRF01_AE antiretroviral-naive patients were recruited for this study. The viral env V3 region isolated from the patients was sequenced and analyzed by Geno2pheno (FPR=5.75% or 10%, Clonal or Clinical), position-specific scoring matrix (WebPSSM, x4r5 subtype B matrix), and the combination of 11/25 and net charge rules. Fifteen concordant and 22 discordant tropism genotyped CRF01_AE samples were further phenotyped by either enhanced sensitivity Trofile assay or an optimized promoter-PCR phenotypic assay. The prevalence of Dual/Mixed- or X4-tropic virus in antiretroviral-naive subtype CRF01_AE was 39.1%, which was significantly higher than subtype B (p<0.05), regardless of the choices of genotypic algorithms. Our phenotypic data proposed that a better genotypic tropism prediction for HIV-1 CRF01_AE would be using both Geno2pheno (FPR=10%, Clonal) and WebPSSM (x4r5 subtype B matrix) algorithms in combination. The sensitivity and specificity for this combination were 88.9% and 89.3%, respectively. The comparatively high prevalence of Dual/Mixed- or X4-tropic virus in CRF01_AE demonstrated the need for special attention to future treatment strategies.

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