CRF22_01A1 is Involved in the Emergence of New HIV-1 Recombinants in Cameroon

Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 8800 RockvillePike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (Impact Factor: 4.56). 04/2012; 60(4):344-50. DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e318258c7e3
Source: PubMed


Cameroon is a West African country where high genetic diversity of HIV-1 has been reported. The predominant CRF02_AG is involved in the emergence of more complex intersubtype recombinants. In this study, we sequenced the full-length genome of a novel unique recombinant form of HIV-1, 02CAMLT04 isolated in blood donors in urban Cameroon. Phylogenetic tree and bootscan analysis showed that 02CAMLT04 was complex and seemed to be a secondary recombinant derived from CRF02_AG and CRF22_01A1. The genomic composition of 02CAMLT04 strain showed that it is composed of 3 segments; 24% of the genome is classified as CRF02_AG, spanning most of the envelope gene. The remaining 76% of the genome is classified as CRF22_01A1. In addition, the sequence analysis of 13 full-length sequences from HIV-1-positive specimens received from Cameroon between 2002 and 2010 indicated that 5 specimens are pure CRF22_01A1 viruses, and 6 others have homology with CRF22_01A1 sequences in either gag, pol, or env region, whereas 6% of strains contain portions of CRF22_01A1. Further study demonstrated that CRF22_01A1 is a primary prevalence strain co-circulating in Cameroon and is involved in complex intersubtype recombination events with subtypes (D or F), subsubtypes (A1 or F2), and CRFs (CRF01_AE or CRF02_AG). Our studies show that novel recombinants between CRF22_01A1 and other clades and recombinant forms may be emerging in Cameroon that could contribute to the future global diversity of HIV-1 in this region and worldwide.

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