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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2010 Sep;26(9):1033-45. doi: 10.1089/aid.2009.0197.

Identification and genetic characterization of a novel CRF22_01A1 recombinant form of HIV type 1 in Cameroon.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Cameroon is a country in West Central Africa in which all four groups of HIV-1 (M, N, O, and P), some circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) and unique recombinant forms (URFs) are prevalent. The CRF22 was initially identified through a novel URF strain, 01CM53122, and later defined from two additional sequences; however, the genomic properties of CRF22 have never been demonstrated in detail. In this study, we describe the characterization of five CRF22_01A1 strains, 02CMLT72, 01CM1867LE, 01CM001BBY, 02CM3097MN, and 02CM1917LE, identified in Cameroon without apparent epidemiological links. A typical CRF22_01A1 strain contains five fragments that can be assigned to the CRF01_AE and subsubtype A1 radiations. Forty-eight percent of the genome is classified as CRF01_AE, spanning the entire region of the gag gene, part of the pol gene, and accessory genes as well as the beginning and the end of the env gene and nef gene. Fifty-two percent of the genome is subsubtype A1 including regions mostly in the pol, vif, and env genes. The five CRF22_01A1 viruses formed a deep branch outside the groups of CRF01_AE and displayed similar mosaic structure but were moderately different from the original strain of CRF22_01A1, 01CM53122. Further analysis of the 01CM53122 genome showed that this virus represents a diverse set of mosaic genomes from CRF22_01A1, including a 446-nt segment of 01CM53122 in the env region, but unlike other CRF22 strains, clustered with CRF01_AE rather than the A1 sequence, suggesting that the 01CM53122 strain is a recombinant of CRF22_01A1 and CRF01_AE.

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