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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2003 Nov;19(11):979-88.

Near full-length genomes of 15 HIV type 1 group O isolates.

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Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois 60064, USA.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is classified into three distinct groups; M (major), N (non-M/non-O), and O (outlier). Group M strains are further subclassified into subtypes, subsubtypes, and circulating recombinant forms (CRF). While the level of genetic diversity within group O is similar to that between group M subtypes, group O has not been classified into subtypes. A previous study, based on the phylogenetic analyses of the gag p24, pol p32, and env gp160 sequences from 39 group O isolates, laid the foundation for the classification of group O subtypes. Five phylogenetic clusters, I-V, were identified that have characteristics analogous to group M subtypes. However, a complete phylogenetic analysis and classification of group O requires the availability of at least two full-length and one partial genomes for each group O phylogenetic cluster. In this study, 15 group O isolates were selected for full genome sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of the 15 sequences with eight additional group O genomes supports the classification of three group O subtypes (I-III) and the potential existence of one CRF (IV) and at least one additional subtype (V). The group O subtypes are equidistant to each other and lack subsegments of other subtypes. The intra- and intersubtype genetic distances for group O are similar in magnitude to the corresponding distances for group M subtypes. Intersubtype recombination was identified in three of the 23 (13%) group O genomes. Formal classification of group O subtypes should be forthcoming pending the analysis of additional group O genomes and agreement of the HIV nomenclature committee.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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