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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2008 Feb;24(2):315-21. doi: 10.1089/aid.2007.0241.

Characterization of an old complex circulating recombinant form, CRF27_cpx, originating from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and circulating in France.

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UMR145, Institut de Recherches pour le Développement (IRD) and University of Montpellier 1, Montpellier, France.


Full-length genomes were characterized for two samples, 02CD-LBR024 from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and 04FR-CD-KZS from France, that formed a separate subcluster with a previously characterized env subtype E isolate from DRC with a recombinant structure different from CRF01-AE. Since the three viruses are clearly epidemiologically unlinked and share the same complex recombinant structure, they represent a circulating recombinant form, designated as CRF27-cpx. The recombination pattern involves six different HIV-1 subtypes (A, E, G, H, J, and K) and a small unclassified fragment. The genetic distances are relatively high, indicating that CRF27-cpx evolved over a long time. Their prevalence is low (0.75%) and remained stable over time in the DRC. The existence of the 04FR.CD.KZS virus, in a patient who recently seroconverted in France, confirmed that these strains now circulate outside the DRC. Continuous monitoring of HIV-1 strains thus remains important to allow early identification of the introduction of new variants.

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