Frank A J Konings

New York University, New York City, NY, United States

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Publications (15)44.66 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: HIV-1 circulating recombinant form (CRF) 02_AG is responsible for greater than 65% of HIV-1 infections in Cameroon and is widespread across West and West-Central Africa. The parental subtypes A1 and G cocirculate in this part of Africa, and high rates of infection predispose to the generation of AG unique recombinant forms (URFs). Little is known as to whether A1 and G can recombine and thrive in vivo with breakpoints other than those characteristic of CRF02_AG. In this study, six unique recombinant viruses of subtypes A1 and G were identified in two individuals in Cameroon. A 1.5 kb fragment of the reverse transcriptase (RT) region of pol (HXB2 location 2,612-4,159) and the entire env gene (HXB2 location 6,202-9,096) were evaluated by phylogenetic and breakpoint analyses. Each URF was found to have breakpoints different than CRF02_AG, indicating that A and G gene segments are functionally compatible with more than one pattern of recombination. Furthermore, contemporaneous, cultured viruses from these individuals were analyzed, revealing different proportions of URFs compared to those found in plasma, possibly indicating compart mentalization and/or phenotypic variation among the URFs. CRF02_AG emerged from West-Central Africa to become a highly successful viral strain. As such, monitoring the spread of newly emerging AG recombinants is critical not only for understanding the epidemiology of HIV-1, but also in the design of future therapeutics and vaccines appropriate to this part of Africa, and globally.
    Journal of Medical Virology 10/2007; 79(9):1270-85. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An array of CRFs have been identified in Cameroon, the most notable being CRF02_AG. HIV-1 in the East Province of Cameroon is particularly diverse: in a recent study, we found a high proportion of unique recombinant forms (URFs). Herein we describe the analysis of the full-length sequences of two of these URFs, which, after preliminary analysis of gag, pol, and env fragments, appeared to be a novel CRF. This novel strain, CRF36_cpx, contains fragments that can be assigned to the CRF01_AE, CRF02_AG, and subtype A and G radiations. Forty percent of the genome can be classified as CRF02_AG, including regions in gag, pol, env, and the accessory genes. Twenty-seven percent is CRF01_AE, comprising the majority of gag, the beginning of env, and the end of env into the 3' LTR. Twenty percent of the genome can be assigned to subtype A, with segments in pol and env. The remaining 13% of the sequence is classifiable as subtype G, in pol and vpu. The subtype A and G lineages formed by the CRF36_cpx sequences are unique and appear ancestral in nature. CRF36_cpx is both the first to combine more than one CRF and the first to include fragments of CRF02_AG. The ancestral sequences present in CRF36_cpx represent a link to extinct strains, and, potentially, insight into the evolution of HIV-1.
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 09/2007; 23(8):1008-19. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-1 in Cameroon is genetically diverse, but is predominated by the circulating recombinant form (CRF) 02_AG, which cocirculates among an array of other CRFs, unique recombinant forms (URFs), and all group M subtypes. In particular, our studies of HIV-1 diversity in the East Province found a high proportion of URFs and second generation recombinants (SGRs), suggesting this region of Cameroon may be a breading ground for new CRFs. Herein we present the full-length sequence analysis of one such CRF, composed primarily (66%) of unique, distant lineages of subtypes A and G in alternating regions throughout the genome. This CRF also combines segments in pol and env genes possessing intrasubtype distance (<15%) to the CRF01_AE and CRF02_AG radiations. The genomic composition of this strain comprising gene segments of subtypes A and G as well as CRF01_AE and CRF02_AG defines this strain as a circulating SGR (CSGR), and the 37th CRF to be identified. Furthermore, more than half of CRF19_cpx, a CRF identified in Cuba, clusters with CRF37_cpx, and the clear genetic distance among the viruses in this cluster suggests this strain has been in circulation since the early days of the epidemic. The genetically distant segments comprising CRF37_cpx, which were found to cluster outside the crown groups of previously described viruses, may represent a link to very rare or extinct strains, and, potentially, to understanding the evolutionary history of HIV-1 in this region.
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 07/2007; 23(7):923-33. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The HIV-1 genetic diversity in most parts of Cameroon is well described and shown to be very broad. However, little is known about the composition of the HIV-1 epidemic in the rural parts of eastern Cameroon. Therefore, we investigated 25 specimens from this region for their subtypes in gag, pol, and env gene fragments. Along with genetic material of subtypes A1, C, G, CRF01_AE, CRF02_AG, and CRF11_cpx, we also identified a large number (24%, 6/25) of distinct env sequences within the subtype A radiation. CRF02_AG was the predominant genetic form in all genes studied. Half of the specimens studied were considered "pure" based on concordant subtypes in the genes studied, whereas the other half were unique recombinant forms (URFs). Except for 1 URF, all were second-generation recombinants (SGRs), 90% of which contained genetic material of CRF02_AG in at least 1 gene. Notably, we identified individuals from 3 different villages infected with CRF01_AE(gag)CRF02_AG(pol)A(env) strains, which is indicative of the evolution of this URF to a circulating recombinant form (CRF). In addition, we identified a CRF02_AG(pol)C(env) recombinant infecting a man and a woman living in the same village, suggesting horizontal transmission of this recombinant. The current study emphasizes the power of HIV-1 recombination through the generation of SGRs and the evolution of URFs into CRFs. These findings suggest that, in a region where a predominant HIV-1 strain cocirculates among several subtypes, recombination could eventually decrease the proportion of this strain over time, such as CRF02_AG in Cameroon.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 08/2006; 42(3):331-41. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of global human immunodeficiency virus infections are caused by viruses characterized by a GPGQ motif at the tip of the V3 loop. Characterization of anti-V3 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that neutralize isolates with the GPGQ V3 motif is an important step in designing vaccines that will induce such Abs. Consequently, seven human anti-V3 MAbs derived from the cells of individuals infected with non-B-subtype viruses (anti-V3(non-B) MAbs) were generated from the cells of individuals from Africa infected with circulating recombinant forms CRF02_AG, CRF09_cpx, and CRF13_cpx, each of which contains a subtype A env gene. Sequence analysis of plasma viruses revealed a GPGQ motif at the apex of the V3 loop from six of the seven subjects and a GPGR motif from one subject. The MAbs were selected with fusion proteins (FP) containing V3(92UG037.8) or V3(JR-CSF) from subtype A or B, respectively. In virus binding assays, five of the seven (71%) anti-V3(non-B) MAbs bound to V3-FPs from both subtype A and subtype B, while only four of the nine (44%) anti-V3(B) MAbs recognized both V3-FPs. Using two neutralization assays, both the anti-V3(non-B) and the anti-V3(B) MAbs neutralized subtype B viruses with similar activities, while the anti-V3(non-B) MAbs exhibited a tendency toward both increased potency and breadth of neutralization against non-B viruses compared to anti-V3(B) MAbs. Statistical significance was not achieved, due in large measure to the sizes of the MAb panels, but the overall pattern of data strongly suggests that viruses with the GPGQ motif at the tip of the V3 loop induce anti-V3 Abs with broader cross-neutralizing activity than do viruses with the GPGR motif.
    Journal of Virology 08/2006; 80(14):6865-72. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) circulating recombinant form (CRF) 02_AG is the predominant subtype in Cameroon, even more prevalent than the parental subtypes A and G. An important question that needs to be addressed is whether recombination in HIV-1 infection can lead to the emergence of viruses with biological advantages. The replicative capacity was investigated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 13 R5-tropic primary HIV-1 isolates, including 5 CRF02_AG, 4 subtype A, and 4 subtype G viruses. HIV-1 subtype identity was defined by phylogeny either of the full-length genome or analysis of a combination of segments of the gag, pro, pol, and env genes followed by recombination breakpoint analysis. All viruses were grown on PBMCs for 11 days and culture supernatant was analyzed for reverse transcriptase (RT) activity and p24 production. On day 11 post-infection, CRF02_AG strains had a 1.4-1.9 times higher RT activity and reached a significantly higher level of p24 production than the parental subtypes A and G. Furthermore, the replication rate as measured by p24 production was 1.4 times higher for CRF02_AG strains compared to the subtypes A and G. This study suggests that the recombination event that led to CRF02_AG resulted in a variant with a better replicative capacity than its progenitors. This adaptation could contribute to the broader spread of HIV-1 CRF02_AG leading to its predominance in West Central Africa compared to the lower prevalence of its parental subtypes A and G.
    Journal of Medical Virology 06/2006; 78(5):523-34. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here we studied the patterns of generation of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and virus escape during non-B subtype HIV-1 chronic infection among asymptomatic patients, and established whether a correlation exists between the generation of NAbs and the kinetics of CD4 T-cell decline. Therefore, sequential viruses and plasma obtained at 6 months to one year intervals over a three years period from ten HIV-1 group M subtype A, CRF02_AG, G, and H infected treatment-naïve individuals were tested in neutralization assays. Overall, NAbs were present in all ten individuals, and had the capacity to neutralize autologous virus obtained six months earlier. Eight of the ten subjects showed an increasing capacity to neutralize early viruses and a low capacity to neutralize contemporaneous and later time-point viruses. The neutralizing activities within these individuals resulted in emergence of neutralization resistant viruses, and with the subsequent generation of more NAbs to the emerging resistant viruses. In the remaining two individuals, the capacity to neutralize early, contemporaneous, and later time-point viruses remained conserved. While the kinetics of CD4 T-cell decline varied among all ten individuals, there was no correlation with the capacity to generate NAbs in that, sequential plasmas from individuals with moderately or rapidly declining CD4 T-cells were capable of neutralizing early sequential viruses. We conclude from this study that in non-B subtype chronically infected asymptomatic patients with moderately and rapidly declining CD4 T-cells, potent NAbs are readily generated as the virus evolves to escape the effect of these antibodies.
    Human antibodies 02/2005; 14(3-4):89-99.
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    ABSTRACT: This study describes the HIV-1 genetic diversity that currently circulates in Bamenda, the provincial capital of the North West province of Cameroon. Phylogenetic analysis of the protease (pro) gene of 20 HIV-1-seropositive individuals identified 11 (55%) CRF02_AG, one D, one F2, one J, and four (20%) unclassifiable strains. Interestingly, the remaining two (10%) samples, 02CMNYU3072 and 03CMNYU3224, originating from epidemiologically unlinked individuals, were classified as CRF09_cpx, representing the first reported cases of this complex circulating recombinant form (CRF) in Cameroon. Additional analysis of the C2V5 portion of the envelope (env) gene confirmed the CRF09_cpx identity of these isolates and classified the remaining isolates as CRF02_AG (n = 12, 63%), subtype D (n = 2, 11%), subtype F2 (n = 2, 11%), and subtype A1 (n = 1). In combination, the pro and env subtyping results revealed three (16%) isolates with discordant subtypes including J( pro )CRF02_AG( env ), CRF02_AG( pro )D( env ), and CRF02_AG( pro )F2( env ). In conclusion, this study highlights the presence of HIV-1 CRF09_cpx in Cameroon and identifies three possible intersubtype recombinants (ISRs) containing CRF02_AG in a town where CRF02_AG infections predominate, and stresses the commonness of HIV-1 recombinant strains in a region where broad genetic diversity exists.
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 01/2005; 20(12):1358-63. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To document infection with HIV type 1 (HIV-1) group M non-B subtypes in individuals living in New York City. From October 1999 through April 2003, HIV-1-seropositive individuals were selected from 3 clinics in New York City based on having risk factors for infection with HIV-1 non-B subtypes. HIV-1 RNA was extracted from plasma samples, and partial gag, pol, or env genes were amplified by PCR analysis. The infecting HIV-1 group M subtype was determined based on results of either heteroduplex mobility assay or sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. Ninety-seven subjects were enrolled in the study. Of the 97 subjects, 91 (94%) were selected based on having emigrated from a non-European country, while 6 (6%) were native United States citizens. Subtypes were successfully determined in 53 (55%) of the 97 plasma samples tested. The subtypes in 2 plasma samples were unclassifiable. HIV-1 infections were classified as those due to the following group M subtypes: A (n = 4; 7%), B (n = 12; 22%), C (n = 8; 15%), F (n = 2; 4%), CRF01_AE-like (n = 7; 13%), CRF02_AG-like (n = 19; 34%), an intersubtype recombinant form G/A (n = 1; 2%), and unclassifiable viruses (n = 2; 4%). This study reveals infection with a broad variety of HIV-1 group M subtypes mostly in the immigrant population of New York City as well as how several non-B subtypes are being introduced into the United States.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 08/2004; 36(3):835-44. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Frank A J Konings, Phillipe N Nyambi
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the resistance-associated substitutions that are present in the reverse transcriptase (RT) genes of HIV-1 CRF02_AG strains infecting drug-naive villagers of Cameroon. The 11 sequences analyzed were previously subtyped as CRF02_AG in the gag, pro, and env genes, and this work revealed that most (10/11) had a concordant subtype (CRF02_AG) in the pol gene, while one sequence had discordant subtype (A1) in the pol gene. Classification of the CRF02_AG sequences was further confirmed by recombination breakpoint analysis, which revealed a mosaic composition similar to the reference strain IbNG. Analysis of the RT genes for resistance-associated substitutions revealed two sequences containing a V118I substitution. Even though no other resistance-associated substitutions were found, the presence of V118I, which is implicated in resistance to reverse transcriptase inhibitors, in CRF02_AG strains infecting drug-naive individuals should be considered when introducing these antiretrovirals in areas where CRF02_AG is the predominant subtype, such as Cameroon.
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 07/2004; 20(6):673-8. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To describe the presence of protease inhibitor (PI) resistance-associated mutations and subtype distribution in drug-naive villagers of six provinces of Cameroon, we sequenced the protease (PR) gene (297 bp) of 128 viruses. Secondary PI resistance-associated mutations were identified at five sites: L10I/V (16%), K20R (8%), M36I (98%), L63P (13%), and V77I (6%). No primary mutation in the PR was identified. Of the 128 specimens analyzed, subtypes A (11%), C(2%), D (6%), F2 (3%), G (6%), H (0.8%), J (6%), and CRF02_AG (60%) were identified. The mutations identified were not characteristic to any particular subtype. The absence of primary mutations, in addition to the few secondary mutations, gives good perspectives for PI treatment interventions in these rural areas.
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 02/2004; 20(1):105-9. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To understand the evolution of HIV-1, the genetic and biological characteristics of viruses that infect persons living in regions in which the virus has been evolving for several decades must be studied. Thus, we investigated teh genetic subtypes, coreceptor usage, and syncytium-inducing ability of viruses in 47 HIV-1-infected blood samples from individuals living in rural villages in the equatorial rain forest and grass field regions in Cameroon. Heteroduplex mobility analysis (HMA) of gag (part of p24 and p7) and env (C2V5) or sequence and phylogenetic analysis of gag (part of p24 and p7), pol (protease), and env (C2V5), revealed a broad HIV-1 group M genetic diversity. Subtype analysis revealed genetic evidence of seven subtypes (A, C, D, F, G, H, and J) and three circulating recombinant froms (CRFs) (CRF01_AE, CRF02_AG, and CRF11_cpx). Only 15 (32%) of the 47 samples analyzed revealed a concordant subtype in all three genes (gag, pol, and env), while discordant subtypes and CRFs were identified for the remaining 32 (68%) samples. Two patterns of HIV-1 diversity could be discerned in two provinces. While more concordant subtypes in gag, pol, and env genes were identified in villages of South province (10 of 13, 77%), the HIV-1 diversity in the West province was characterized by intersubtype recombinants (63%). Five new intersubtype recombinants were identified including Agag Jpol Genv, Ggag Upol Aenv, AGgag Jpol Aenv, Agag AGpol Henv, and Cgag AGpol AGenv. All of the 40 viruses tested used the R5 coreceptor, of which four also used the X4 coreceptor. Four viruses were able to induce syncytia in MT-2 cells, however, syncytium induction did not correlate with coreceptor usage. This study further reveals the complexity of HIV-1 infection in rural Cameron and points to the future of the global epidemic, which may be characterized by more genetically diverse viruses.
    AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 01/2004; 19(12):1167-78. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Much of our understanding of HIV-1 diagnosis, pathogenesis and clinical management derives from studies in the developed world where HIV-1 infection is almost exclusively due to subtype B. However, on a global scale, non-B subtypes are responsible for most infections. New York City is one of the main entry ports for U.S. immigrants. This study is directed towards assessment of HIV-1 subtypes being introduced into the United States. Methods From October 1999 until March 2003 we recruited HIV-1 positive individuals living in New York City who had risk factors for acquiring non-B infection. HIV-1 RNA was extracted from plasma samples and gag, pol or env were amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The infecting HIV-1 group M subtype was determined based on either heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA) or sequencing followed by phylogenetic analysis. Results We enrolled 92 individuals of whom 46 had emigrated from Sub-Saharan Africa, 22 from Asia, and 16 from Latin America and the Caribbean Islands. Six patients were native U.S. citizens. Viral RNA could be extracted in high enough quantities from 51 (55%) of the 92 plasma samples to allow for PCR amplification of the gag, pol or env genes. Our analysis revealed 5 group M subtypes, 2 circulating recombinant forms (CRFs), one inter-subtype recombinant form, and two viruses were untypable. Nineteen subtypes were determined by HMA (15 in gag, four in env), and 32 by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis (two in gag, 28 in pol, two in env). The genetic subtypes identified among the 51 individuals included 5 A (10%), 12 B (24%), 7 C (14%), 1 F (2%), 1 J (2%), 6 CRF01_AE-like (12%) and 16 CRF02_AG-like (31%) viruses. The inter-subtype recombinant virus was subtype A in gag and G in env. Two viruses were untypable in the protease region of pol. Conclusions This study is the first to report the broad HIV-1 diversity currently circulating in New York City and demonstrates the emergence of non-B subtypes in the United States. Clinicians should strongly consider subtype analysis in HIV-1 infected individuals with risk factors of acquiring non-B infection as the result might have important implications for their clinical management.
    Infectious Diseases Society of America 2003 Annual Meeting; 10/2003
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the genetic diversity of the HIV-1 circulating in Shanghai and to analyze the mutations in the protease (PR) gene associated with resistance to protease inhibitors (PIs). The genetic diversity of HIV-1 and PI resistance-associated mutations was studied in 40 Shanghai HIV-1-seropositive treatment-naive residents. The patients studied were exposed to the infection mainly through contaminated blood products (hemophiliacs) (n = 17) and sexual contacts (n = 19). Samples from 2 injecting drug users (IDUs) and 2 children born to HIV-1 infected mothers were also analyzed. HIV-1 partial gag, pol, and env genes in infected plasma samples were amplified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, sequenced, and phylogenetically analyzed. Analysis of PI resistance-associated amino acid substitution in PR was performed. HIV-1 genes in 38 of the 40 plasma samples were successfully amplified and analyzed. Polymerase chain reaction amplification was successful for 16/17 hemophilia patients and 18/19 sexually infected individuals. While all the 16 hemophilia patients infected through contaminated blood products were infected with subtype B', the 18 patients infected through sexual contact were infected with several subtypes including subtype A (n = 2), B (n = 4), B' (n = 1), C (n = 2), CRF08_BC (n = 1), CRF01_AE (n = 7), and intersubtype recombinant CRF01_AE/B (n = 1). The 2 IDUs were infected with CRF08_BC and the 2 children born to HIV-1 infected mothers were infected with subtype B' and CRF01_AE. PI resistance-associated amino acid substitutions were found at 1 codon in primary and 7 codons in secondary regions of the PR gene. Amino acid substitutions were more frequently found in the B/B' sequences (69%) than in the non-B sequences (31%). Substitutions characteristic with the subtype B/B' sequences mainly among hemophiliacs included L63P (87%), A71V/T (27%), and V77I (93%) while those that characterized the non-B sequences mainly found among heterosexuals included M36I (69%) and K20R (19%). This study reveals the presence of multiple HIV-1 subtypes and recombinants infecting Shanghai residents. The broad HIV-1 diversity is being introduced into this city through heterosexual contacts. This study also reveals that viruses infecting these treatment-naive patients have acquired both primary or secondary mutations in their PR genes. These studies should provide the basis for further epidemiologic surveys of HIV-1 subtypes and set strategies for treatment intervention and vaccine programs.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 10/2003; 34(1):91-101. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To investigate the genetic diversity of the HIV-1 circulating in Shanghai and to analyze the mutations in the protease (PR) gene associated with resistance to protease inhibitors (PIs). Design: The genetic diversity of HIV-1 and PI resistance-associated mutations was studied in 40 Shanghai HIV-1-seropositive treatmentnaive residents. The patients studied were exposed to the infection mainly through contaminated blood products (hemophiliacs) (n = 17) and sexual contacts (n = 19). Samples from 2 injecting drug users (IDUs) and 2 children born to HIV-1 infected mothers were also analyzed. Methods: HIV-1 partial gag, pol, and env genes in infected plasma samples were amplified by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, sequenced, and phylogenetically analyzed. Analysis of PI resistance-associated amino acid substitution in PR was performed. Results: HIV - 1 genes in 38 of the 40 plasma samples were successfully amplified and analyzed. Polymerase chain reaction amplification was successful for 16/17 hemophilia patients and 18/19 sexually infected individuals. While all the 16 hemophilia patients infected through contaminated blood products were infected with subtype B′, the 18 patients infected through sexual contact were infected with several subtypes including subtype A (n = 2), B (n = 4), B′ (n = 1), C (n = 2), CRF08_BC (n = 1), CRF01_AE (n = 7), and intersubtype recombinant CRF01_AE/B (n = 1). The 2 IDUs were infected with CRF08_BC and the 2 children born to HIV-1 infected mothers were infected with subtype B′ and CRF01_AE. PI resistance-associated amino acid substitutions were found at 1 codon in primary and 7 codons in secondary regions of the PR gene. Amino acid substitutions were more frequently found in the B/B′ sequences (69%) than in the non-B sequences (31%). Substitutions characteristic with the subtype B/B′ sequences mainly among hemophiliacs included L63P (87%), A71V/T (27%), and V77I (93%) while those that characterized the non-B sequences mainly found among heterosexuals included M36I (69%) and K20R (19%). Conclusion: This study reveals the presence of multiple HIV-1 subtypes and recombinants infecting Shanghai residents. The broad HIV-1 diversity is being introduced into this city through heterosexual contacts. This study also reveals that viruses infecting these treatment-naive patients have acquired both primary or secondary mutations in their PR genes. These studies should provide the basis for further epidemiologic surveys of HIV-1 subtypes and set strategies for treatment intervention and vaccine programs. In China, home to 1/5 of the world's population, HIV has spread to all 31 provinces, regions, and municipalities 1 and is currently moving into new groups of the population. 2 Epidemiologic surveillance studies in China reveal that transmission of HIV-1 by injecting drug users (IDUs) is the predominant route of HIV transmission, with prevalence rates >70% among this group of patients, in some border communities in Xingjiang, Yunnan, and Guangxi provinces. 3 Heterosexual transmission has been on the increase in recent years, as has been shown with increased prevalence in patients with sexually transmitted diseases. 4 HIV infection by HIV-contaminated blood and blood products has been reported in different parts of China. 4 Shanghai, located in the east of China, is one of the largest cities with 16.74 million inhabitants and receiving about 4 million migrants annually, some of who come with HIV infection, thus increasing the HIV-1 epidemic in this city. Shanghai has been ranked the 9th for its HIV-1 epidemic in China. 4 The main modes of HIV-1 transmission in this city are reported to be by IDUs (35%), sexual contacts (33%), and the use of contaminated blood products (20%). 5,6 While HIV-1 subtype information in Shanghai is sparse, several HIV-1 subtypes (A, B, B′, C, D, F, and G), 3 circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) (CRF01_AE, CRF07_BC, and CRF08_BC) as well as HIV-2 have been identified in different parts of China. 7,8 Information on the HIV-1 subtype distribution in different risk groups in China is sparse. Although some heterosexuals in Shanghai were found to be infected with HIV-1 subtype C, little is known on the HIV-1 genetic diversity among different risk groups in Shanghai. To track the HIV-1 genetic distribution in this city, the subtypes infecting different risk groups must be studied. Amino acid substitutions that lead to drug resistance in patients during treatment with protease inhibitors (PIs) have been extensively characterized into primary (major) and secondary (minor) mutations. 9-11 Primary mutations significantly decreases sensitivity to ≥1 PI drugs, 9,10 while secondary mutations may not result in a significant decrease in sensitivity but are associated with an increase in viral fitness (replication capacity). 9,12 Thus, the appearance of a primary mutation in a genome already containing secondary mutations could influence the speed at which highly resistant viruses are selected during therapy. Information on PI resistance-associated mutations in HIV-1-infected patients in China is lacking. To establish successful treatment strategies for HIV-1 patients in China, there is the need to characterize the natural polymorphisms associated with PI resistance in drug-naive HIV-1-infected individuals. The present study has examined the genetic diversity and natural polymorphisms associated with PI resistance of HIV-1 strains infecting residents of Shanghai, China.
    JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 08/2003; 34(1):91-101. · 4.65 Impact Factor