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Virology. 2001 Jul 20;286(1):168-81.

The AG recombinant IbNG and novel strains of group M HIV-1 are common in Cameroon.

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  • 1Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Rockville, Maryland 20850, USA.


The genetic diversity of group M HIV-1 is highest in west central Africa. Blood samples from four locations in Cameroon were collected to determine the molecular epidemiology of HIV-1. The C2-V5 region of envelope was sequenced from 39 of the 40 samples collected, and 7 samples were sequenced across the genome. All strains belonged to group M of HIV-1. The circulating recombinant form CRF02 AG (IbNG) was the most common strain (22/39, 56%). Two of these were confirmed by full genome analysis. Four samples (4/39, 10%) clustered with the sub-subtype F2 and one of these was confirmed by full genome sequencing. Recombinant forms, each different but containing subtype A, accounted for the next most common form (7/39, 18%). Among these recombinants, those combining subtypes A and G were the most common (4/7, 57%). Also found were 3 subtype A, 2 subtype G, and 1 subtype B strain. Many recombination break points were shared between IbNG and the other AG recombinants, though none of these other AG recombinants included IbNG as a parent. This suggests that there was an ancestral AG recombinant that gave rise to CRF02 AG (IbNG), the successful circulating recombinant form, and to others that were less successful and are now rare.

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