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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1999 Sep 1;15(13):1157-68.

Genetic similarity of HIV type 1 subtype E in a recent outbreak among injecting drug users in northern Vietnam to strains in Guangxi Province of southern China.

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Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Epidemiology, AIDS Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Disease, Tokyo, Japan.


To investigate the molecular epidemiology of a recent HIV-1 outbreak in northern Vietnam and its relation to the epidemic in surrounding areas, we analyzed 17 HIV-positive blood specimens from 3 heterosexuals, 2 sexually transmitted disease patients, and 12 injecting drug users (IDUs), collected in 4 provinces near Hanoi in 1998. These were compared with the specimens from Ho Chi Minh City (n = 10) and An Giang Province (n = 10) in southern Vietnam and with published sequences from neighboring countries. Genetic subtyping based on the env C2/V3 sequences revealed that HIV-1 subtype E predominated throughout Vietnam in all risk populations; the exception was one typical United States-European-type HIV-1 subtype B detected in a patient in Ho Chi Minh City, the first case of HIV infection identified in Vietnam in 1990. The HIV-1 subtype E sequences identified in 9 of the 12 IDUs from northern provinces were closely related phylogenetically to those in IDUs in nearby Guangxi Province of China, and also shared a common amino acid signature downstream of the env V3 loop region. The low interperson nucleotide diversity among IDUs in northern Vietnam supports the view that HIV-1 subtype E was introduced recently among IDUs in northern Vietnam. These data indicate a linkage between HIV-1 circulating among IDUs in northern Vietnam and southern China, and suggest recent transborder introductions as the likely source of HIV-1 subtype E in northern Vietnam.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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