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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2010 Jul;54(3):241-7. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181dc98c1.

HIV-2 CRF01_AB: first circulating recombinant form of HIV-2.

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Department of Infection and Immunology, Clinical Research Center, National Hospital Organization Nagoya Medical Center, Nagoya, Japan.



Five HIV-2-seropositive cases were recently identified in Japan, outside the HIV-2 endemic area of West Africa. To clarify the molecular epidemiology of HIV-2 in Japan, we analyzed sequences of these cases in detail.


HIV-2 genetic groups were determined by gag and env sequences. For suspected recombinant isolates, the genetic structure was determined by full-length genomic analyses. To understand the history and evolution of HIV-2 recombinant isolates, we estimated the time of most recent common ancestor by Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method.


Three isolates were determined as recombinants of groups A and B, and their mosaic genome structures were identical with that of 7312A, a recombinant isolate reported in 1990 from Côte d'Ivoire. Our 3 isolates and 7312A fulfilled the criteria for determining a circulating recombinant form (CRF). These isolates were verified by the Los Alamos HIV sequence database as the first CRF of HIV-2, HIV-2 CRF01_AB. The mean time of most recent common ancestor of CRF01_AB was estimated as between 1964 and 1973, several decades after the estimated emergence of HIV-2.


We recently identified HIV-2 CRF01_AB cases in Japan. This ectopic observation of the virus outside its original endemic area suggests an ongoing global spread of HIV-2 CRF01_AB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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