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J Virol. 1994 Mar;68(3):1581-5.

A new subtype of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (MVP-5180) from Cameroon.

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  • 1Max von Pettenkofer Institute, University of Munich, Germany.


A new subtype (MVP-5180) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) was isolated from a Cameroonian AIDS patient. MVP-5180 was grown in several human T-cell lines and the monocytic U937 line. MVP-5180 DNA could not be amplified by nested primer PCR with conventional env primers and could be only very faintly amplified with gag and pol primers. Most German, Ivoirian, and Malawian anti-HIV-1 sera reacted faintly or moderately with Env proteins in an MVP-5180 immunoblot, whereas some Cameroonian sera reacted strongly. Of HIV-1-infected Cameroonians, 8% were identified by serological methods as infected with MVP-5180; 7% were positive when MVP-5180-specific PCR env primers were used. DNA sequence analysis of MVP-5180 showed that its genetic organization was that of HIV-1, with 65% similarity to HIV-1 and 56% similarity to HIV-2 consensus sequences. The env gene of MVP-5180 had similarities to HIV-1 and HIV-2 of 53 and of 49%, respectively. V3 loop analysis identified a crown of Gly-Pro-Met-Arg by using cloned DNA and Gly-Pro-Leu-Arg by using PCR-amplified DNA, neither of which configuration has been described for other HIV strains. In an analysis of relationships, MVP-5180 occupied a position distant to all other HIV-1 strains, including the chimpanzee simian immunodeficiency virus type 1 SIVcpz and the Uganda virus U455, and closer to the HIV-1/HIV-2 divergence node. MVP-5180, together with another Cameroonian isolate, ANT-70, constitutes a group subtype O of the most divergent HIV-1 isolates yet identified. Characterization of MVP-5180 is important for understanding the natural history of the primate immunodeficiency viruses and for the development of vaccines and diagnostics.

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