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HIV-1 recombinants with multiple parental strains in low-prevalence, remote regions of Cameroon: Evolutionary relics?

Carr, JK and Wolfe, ND and Torimiro, JN and Tamoufe, U and Mpoudi-Ngole, E and Eyzaguirre, L and Birx, DL and McCutchan, FE and Burke, DS (2010) HIV-1 recombinants with multiple parental strains in low-prevalence, remote regions of Cameroon: Evolutionary relics? Retrovirology, 7.

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Abstract

Background: The HIV pandemic disseminated globally from Central West Africa, beginning in the second half of the twentieth century. To elucidate the virologic origins of the pandemic, a cross-sectional study was conducted of the genetic diversity of HIV-1 strains in villagers in 14 remote locations in Cameroon and in hospitalized and STI patients. DNA extracted from PBMC was PCR amplified from HIV(+) subjects. Partial pol amplicons (N = 164) and nearly full virus genomes (N = 78) were sequenced. Among the 3956 rural villagers studied, the prevalence of HIV infection was 4.9%; among the hospitalized and clinic patients, it was 8.6%.Results: Virus genotypes fell into two distinctive groups. A majority of the genotyped strains (109/164) were the circulating recombinant form (CRF) known to be endemic in West Africa and Central West Africa, CRF02_AG. The second most common genetic form (9/164) was the recently described CRF22_01A1, and the rest were a collection of 4 different subtypes (A2, D, F2, G) and 6 different CRFs (-01, -11, -13, -18, -25, -37). Remarkably, 10.4% of HIV-1 genomes detected (17/164) were heretofore undescribed unique recombinant forms (URF) present in only a single person. Nearly full genome sequencing was completed for 78 of the viruses of interest. HIV genetic diversity was commonplace in rural villages: 12 villages each had at least one newly detected URF, and 9 villages had two or more.Conclusions: These results show that while CRF02_AG dominated the HIV strains in the rural villages, the remainder of the viruses had tremendous genetic diversity. Between the trans-species transmission of SIV and the dispersal of pandemic HIV-1, there was a time when we hypothesize that nascent HIV-1 was spreading, but only to a limited extent, recombining with other local HIV-1, creating a large variety of recombinants. When one of those recombinants began to spread widely (i.e. became epidemic), it was recognized as a subtype. We hypothesize that the viruses in these remote Cameroon villages may represent that pre-epidemic stage of viral evolution. © 2010 Carr et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. cpz


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Carr, JK
Wolfe, ND
Torimiro, JN
Tamoufe, U
Mpoudi-Ngole, E
Eyzaguirre, L
Birx, DL
McCutchan, FE
Burke, DSdonburke@pitt.eduDONBURKE
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for Vaccine Research
Date: 28 April 2010
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Retrovirology
Volume: 7
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1186/1742-4690-7-39
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 07 May 2015 19:57
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 13:56
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/24380

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