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Virology. 2017 Apr;504:141-151. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2017.01.008. Epub 2017 Feb 10.

Identification of rare HIV-1 Group N, HBV AE, and HTLV-3 strains in rural South Cameroon.

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Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL, USA. Electronic address:
Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL, USA.
Université de Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Université des Montagnes, Montagnes, Bangangté, Cameroon.
Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, Abuja, Nigeria.


Surveillance of emerging viral variants is critical to ensuring that blood screening and diagnostic tests detect all infections regardless of strain or geographic location. In this study, we conducted serological and molecular surveillance to monitor the prevalence and diversity of HIV, HBV, and HTLV in South Cameroon. The prevalence of HIV was 8.53%, HBV was 10.45%, and HTLV was 1.04% amongst study participants. Molecular characterization of 555 HIV-1 specimens identified incredible diversity, including 7 subtypes, 12 CRFs, 6 unclassified, 24 Group O and 2 Group N infections. Amongst 401 HBV sequences were found a rare HBV AE recombinant and two emerging sub-genotype A strains. In addition to HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 strains, sequencing confirmed the fifth known HTLV-3 infection to date. Continued HIV/HBV/HTLV surveillance and vigilance for newly emerging strains in South Cameroon will be essential to ensure diagnostic tests and research stay a step ahead of these rapidly evolving viruses.


HBV recombinant; HBV sub-genotype A; HIV Group N; HIV Group O; HTLV-3; South Cameroon; Viral surveillance; Virus diversity

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