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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2005 May;21(5):424-9.

Characterization of complete HIV type 1 genomes from non-B subtype infections in U.S. military personnel.

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US Military HIV Research Program, Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Rockville, Maryland 20850, USA.


Infections with non-B HIV-1 subtypes are rare in the United States, but comprise a significant percentage of infections among U.S. military personnel. Risk behavior while on overseas deployment correlates with non-B infection in this population. Extensive genetic characterization will be required to define HIV-1 diversity, and to effectively evaluate requirements for HIV-1 vaccines and other prevention strategies in this group. From 1997 to 2000, 520 recent seroconverters, identified through routine HIV-1 testing in the U.S. active military force, volunteered for a prospective study. V3 loop serology or partial genome sequencing identified 28 non- B subtype infections; 14 were studied by full genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. Five strains were CRF01_AE. Four of these clustered with CM240 from Thailand, and one clustered with African CRF01_AE. Four strains were CRF02_AG, prevalent in West and West Central Africa. Two strains were subtype C. One strain was a unique recombinant between CRF01_AE and subtype B, and another was a complex unique recombinant between subtype A and D. The final strain was a member of a complex circulating recombinant first identified in Senegal, CRF09_cpx, incorporating subtypes A, F, G, and an unclassified genome. This diversity of non-B subtype HIV-1 strains, encompassing three globally prevalent non-B strains and including rare or even possibly unique strains, illustrates the breadth of U.S. military exposure while deployed and sets the bar higher for breadth of cross-subtype protection to be afforded by an HIV-1 vaccine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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