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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2002 Aug 10;18(12):891-5.

Simultaneous introduction of HIV type 1 subtype A and B viruses into injecting drug users in southern Ukraine at the beginning of the epidemic in the former Soviet Union.

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Department of Human Retrovirology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The vast majority of HIV-1 strains from the epidemic in the former Soviet Union (FSU) belong to subtype A (IDU-A) and CRF03_AB (IDU-A/B), for which IDU-A is one of parental strains; no epidemic by another parental virus, belonging to subtype B (IDU-B), has yet been identified. To characterize viruses present during the early stage of the epidemic in southern Ukraine, where the first outbreaks in the FSU were registered, we obtained partial env and pol sequences from IDUs from Odessa and Nikolaev and compared them with viruses from other outbreaks. All viruses from Odessa belonged to the IDU-A type, which is in accord with previous studies. At the same time, we found that the outbreak in Nikolaev was caused by IDU-B viruses, indicating that this outbreak is the result of an independent virus introduction. Phylogenetic analysis of viruses from the FSU supported the epidemiological data suggesting that the HIV-1 epidemic in the FSU started in southern Ukraine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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