Increasing HIV subtype diversity and its clinical implications in a sentinel North American population


HIV-1 is a highly diverse virus; subtypes may exhibit differences in rates of transmission, disease progression, neurotoxicity, antiretroviral treatment failure profiles and accuracy of viral load measurements. To date, the HIV epidemic in Canada and the rest of the developed world has been largely due to subtype B; however, shifts in subtype epidemiology could have significant implications.
To determine whether there has been an increase in HIV subtype diversity in southern Alberta, Canada.
All 2358 patients receiving any HIV care between December 31, 2001 and December 31, 2010 were included in a retrospective analysis of subtype prevalence and incidence. In an indexed analysis, subtype trends from 1994 to 2010 were also evaluated.
Between 2001 and 2010, the prevalence of non-B HIV subtypes in patients with a known subtype increased from 7% to 24%. In 2010, the most prevalent non-B subtypes were C (65%), A (11%), CRF02_AG (9.7%), CRF01_AE (4.9%), D (3.9%), G (2.9%) and CRF06_cpx (1.5%). In the indexed analysis, there was an overall proportional increase in non-B subtypes of 2.3% per year. The year-over-year increase in the prevalence of patients infected with a nonsubtype B virus increased from 13% from 1995 to 2002 to 27% from 2003 to 2010 (P=0.01). Incident non-B subtype cases increased from 9.6% to 32.4% over these time periods.
This recent and dramatic shift in HIV strain diversity in Canada is unprecedented and may have important public health, research and clinical consequences.

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Available from: Reed A.C. Siemieniuk, Sep 01, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Previous animal studies have identified a C31S residue substitution in the C30C31 dicysteine motif of the Tat protein that is associated with reduced neurovirulence in clade C human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, clinical studies of patients infected with clade C HIV have reported significant levels of cognitive impairment. To date, no study has specifically examined cognitive function in clade C-infected patients as a function of the presence or absence of the Tat C31 substitution. The present study investigated the impact of the Tat C30C31S genetic substitution among individuals residing in South Africa infected with clade C HIV that either exhibited the C30C31 motif (n = 128) or the C31S motif (n = 46). A control group of seronegative individuals was included to examine the overall impact of HIV on cognitive performance. All individuals completed a comprehensive neuropsychological battery consisting of tests sensitive to HIV. Results revealed that clade C-infected individuals performed significantly worse across cognitive tests compared to seronegative controls. However, there were no significant differences in cognitive performances between individuals with the C31S motif versus those without the C31S substitution. Proximal CD4 cell count and plasma viral load were unrelated to cognitive performances for either group. Results confirm that the C31S dicysteine motif substitution of the Tat protein does not appreciably moderate neuropsychological outcomes in clade C. Further, these findings highlight the importance of clinical management of cognitive symptoms among individuals infected with this viral clade worldwide.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of NeuroVirology