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Infect Genet Evol. 2005 Apr;5(3):209-17. Epub 2004 Dec 7.

The analysis of near full-length genome sequences of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 BF intersubtype recombinant viruses from Chile, Venezuela and Spain reveals their relationship to diverse lineages of recombinant viruses related to CRF12_BF.

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Centro Nacional de Biología Fundamental, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Ctra, Majadahonda-Pozuelo, Km. 2, 28220 Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) BF intersubtype recombinant viruses are common in Argentina and Uruguay, where CRF12_BF and related recombinants are frequently found, and, in a lower proportion, in Brazil. Full-length genome sequences have been characterized in several of these recombinant viruses. Here, we analyze six newly derived near full-length genome sequences of BF recombinant viruses, three from Chile, one from Venezuela and two from Spain. Five of them had known epidemiological links to Argentina. Genomes were amplified by PCR from plasma RNA or from peripheral blood mononuclear cells' DNA. Mosaic structures and phylogenetic relationships were analyzed by bootscanning, neighbour-joining phylogenetic trees and by examination of subtype signature nucleotides. One virus from Spain had a mosaic structure fully coincident with CRF12_BF. The others had unique mosaic structures, except the viruses from two Chilean sisters infected vertically from the same mother, who showed identical recombination patterns. Each of the unique recombinants had one to six breakpoints coincident with CRF12_BF and three also had two or three breakpoints coincident with a previously characterized unique recombinant from Argentina (A025) related to CRF12_BF. A phylogenetic tree of concatenated subtype F segments supported the relationship of five recombinants with CRF12_BF. In trees of partial subtype F and B segments, four recombinants clustered with A025. The examination of CRF12_BF signature amino acids and nucleotides supported the common ancestry of all the analyzed viruses. Based on these results, a model of generation of HIV-1 BF recombinants of Argentinean ancestry by successive rounds of recombination along diverse lineages deriving from a common BF recombinant ancestor related to CRF12_BF is proposed.

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