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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 13;9(1):e85153. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085153. eCollection 2014.

Molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 in Panama: origin of non-B subtypes in samples collected from 2007 to 2013.

Author information

  • 1Department of Genomics and Proteomics, Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies, Panama City, Panama ; Department of Biotechnology, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur City, Andhra Pradesh, India ; Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of Panama, Panama City, Panama ; INDICASAT-AIP, 219, City of Knowledge, Clayton, Panama City, Panama.
  • 2Laboratório de AIDS e Imunologia Molecular, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • 3Department of Genomics and Proteomics, Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies, Panama City, Panama.
  • 4Department of Genomics and Proteomics, Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies, Panama City, Panama ; Department of Biotechnology, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur City, Andhra Pradesh, India ; INDICASAT-AIP, 219, City of Knowledge, Clayton, Panama City, Panama.
  • 5Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Infecciosas, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Mexico City, Mexico.

Abstract

Phylogenetic studies have suggested that the HIV-1 epidemic in the Americas is mainly dominated by HIV subtype B. However, countries of South America and the Caribbean have recently reported changes in their circulating HIV-1 genetic profiles. The aim of this study was to characterize the molecular profile of the HIV-1 epidemic in Panama by the analysis of 655 polymerase gene (pol) sequences that were obtained from HIV-infected Panamanians diagnosed between 1987 and 2013. Blood samples were collected from recently infected, antiretroviral drug-naïve and treatment-experienced subjects since mid-2007 to 2013. Viral RNA from plasma was extracted and sequences of HIV protease and reverse transcriptase genes were obtained. Bootscanning and phylogenetic methods were used for HIV subtyping and to trace the putative origin of non-B subtype strains. Our results showed that HIV-1 infections in Panama are dominated by subtype B (98.9%). The remaining 1.1% is represented by a diverse collection of recombinant variants including: three URFs_BC, one CRF20_BG, and one CRF28/29_BF, in addition to one subtype F1 and one subtype C, none of which were previously reported in Panama. The non-B subtype variants detected in Panama were probably introduced from Brazil (subtype F1 and CRF28/29_BF), Cuba (CRF20_BG), Dominican Republic (URFs_BC) and India (subtype C). Panama is the geographical vertex that connects the North with South America and the Caribbean through trade and cultural relations, which may explain the observed introductions of non-B subtype HIV-1 variants from both the Caribbean and South America into this Central American country.

PMID:
24454808
PMCID:
PMC3890310
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0085153
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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