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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2000 Mar 1;16(4):315-25.

Predominance of subtype A and G HIV type 1 in Nigeria, with geographical differences in their distribution.

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Laboratoire Rétrovirus, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Montpellier, France.


The purpose of this study was to generate data on the relative prevalences of the HIV-1 subtypes circulating in Nigeria. A total of 252 HIV-1-positive samples collected during an epidemiologic survey conducted in April 1996 were genetically characterized by HMA (heteroduplex mobility assay) and/or sequencing. Samples were collected in Lagos, Calabar, Kano, and Maiduguri. Overall, the predominant env subtypes were A (61.3%) and G (37.5%). Subtype A is more prevalent in the south (p < 0.001), about 70% in Lagos and Calabar, whereas a quarter of the samples was classified as subtype G in these states. In contrast, subtype G is predominant in the north ( < 0.001), representing 58% of the samples in Kano. In the northeastern region, Maiduguri, almost similar proportions of subtype A and G were seen, 49 and 47.4%, respectively. A total of 37 samples was also sequenced in the p24 region from the gag gene; 13 (35%) had discordant subtype designations between env and gag. The majority of the gag (12 of 17) and env (14 of 22) subtype A sequences clustered with the A/G-IBNG strain. Within subtype G, three different subclusters were seen among the envelope sequences. These different subclusters are observed among samples obtained from asymptomatic individuals and AIDS patients from the four Nigerian states studied. In conclusion, we observed a limited number of HIV-1 subtypes circulating in Nigeria, with subtypes A and G being the major env subtypes responsible for the HIV-1 epidemic. Nevertheless, the high rate of recombinant viruses (A/G) and the different A/G recombinant structures indicate a complex pattern of HIV-1 viruses circulating in this country.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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