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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2012 Jul;28(7):729-33. doi: 10.1089/AID.2011.0176. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

HIV type 1 genetic variation in foreskin and blood from subjects in Rakai, Uganda.

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Rakai Health Sciences Program, Kalisizo, Uganda.


The foreskin contains a subset of dendritic cells, macrophages, and CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells that may be targets for initial HIV infection in female-to-male sexual transmission of HIV-1. We present analyses comparing HIV-1 sequences isolated from foreskin DNA and serum RNA in 12 heterosexual men enrolled in an adult male circumcision trial performed in Rakai, Uganda. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated three topologies: (1) little divergence between foreskin and serum, (2) multiple genetic bottlenecks occurring in both foreskin and serum, and (3) complete separation of foreskin and serum populations. The latter tree topology provided evidence that foreskin may serve as a reservoir for distinct HIV-1 strains. Distance and recombination analysis also demonstrated that viral genotypes in the foreskin might segregate independently from the circulating pool of viruses.

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