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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2012 Aug;28(8):885-93. doi: 10.1089/AID.2011.0217. Epub 2012 Mar 2.

Phylogenetic analysis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 subtype C env gp120 sequences among four drug-naive families following subsequent heterosexual and vertical transmissions.

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1
Department of Immunology, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe. tkduri@yahoo.co.uk

Abstract

To characterize phylogenetic relatedness of plasma HIV-1 RNA subtype C env gp120 viral variants capable of establishing an infection following heterosexual and subsequent vertical transmission events a 650-base pair fragment within the C2-V5 subregion was sequenced from four HIV-1-infected families each consisting of biological parent(s), index children (first), and subsequent (second) siblings. None of the family members had received antiretroviral therapy at the time of sample collection. Sequence alignment and analysis were done using Gene Doc, Clustal X, and MEGA software programs. Second siblings' sequences were homogeneous and clustered in a single branch while first siblings' sequences were more heterogeneous, clustering in separate branches, suggestive of more than one donor variants responsible for the infection or evolution from founder variant(s) could have occurred. While the directionality for heterosexual transmission could not be determined, homogeneous viral variants were a unique characteristic of maternal variants as opposed to the more heterogeneous paternal variants. Analysis of families' sequences demonstrated a localized expansion of the subtype C infection. We demonstrated that families' sequences clustered quite closely with other regional HIV-1 subtype C sequences supported by a bootstrap value of 86%, confirming the difficulty of classifying subtype C sequences on a geographic basis. Data are indicative of several mechanisms that may be involved in both vertical and heterosexual transmission. Larger studies are warranted to address the caveats of this study and build on the strengths. Our study could be the beginning of family-based HIV-1 intervention research in Zimbabwe.

PMID:
22206228
DOI:
10.1089/AID.2011.0217
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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