HIV-1 subtypes and recombinants in the Republic of Congo

Laboratoire de Bactériologie et Virologie, Hôpital Le Dantec, Dakar, Senegal.
Infection Genetics and Evolution (Impact Factor: 3.02). 10/2006; 6(5):337-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2005.12.001
Source: PubMed


To document the actual genetic diversity of HIV-1 strains in the Republic of Congo, 114 HIV-1 positives persons were sampled in 2003 and 2004 after their informed consent. They were attending the teaching hospital, the reference health center in Makelekele, Brazzaville and the regional hospital centers in Pointe-Noire, Gamboma and Ouesso. A total of 104 samples were genetically characterized by direct sequencing of the p24 gag region and 80 were also subtyped in the V3-V5 env region. The genetic subtype distribution of the Congolese strains showed the predominance of subtype A (36.5% and 32.5% in gag and env, respectively) and G (30.8% and 21.25%), whereas subtype D strains represented 12.5% and 15%. Subtypes C, F, H, J, K and the CRFs-01, -02, -05 -06, and also the recently characterized CRF18 were seen at lower rates. Finally, 4.8% (gag) and 6.25% (env) of the strains could not be classified. Moreover, a high intra-subtype diversity was observed in our study. Among 70 strains which have been characterized in the two genomic regions, 14 (20%) appeared to be unique recombinants. These data show a high genetic variability in the Republic of Congo, where all the subtypes have been documented together with certain subsubtypes and several CRFs.

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Available from: Halimatou Diop-Ndiaye
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    • "For example, recent studies have documented the presence of novel SIVs and STLVs in bushmeat in DRC, and thus hunters may be at increased risk for infection with these retroviruses [17]. In addition, high rates of HIV-1 genetic variability have been reported in DRC, suggesting DRC as the epicenter of the global HIV-1/M pandemic, and supporting further the broad retroviral diversity in the region [20-22]. Given the high viral diversity in DRC and the emergence of other simian retroviruses in sub-Saharan Africa, we screened a large population of rural DRC inhabitants for SFV infection. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Zoonotic transmission of simian retroviruses in Central Africa is ongoing and can result in pandemic human infection. While simian foamy virus (SFV) infection was reported in primate hunters in Cameroon and Gabon, little is known about the distribution of SFV in Africa and whether human-to-human transmission and disease occur. We screened 3,334 plasmas from persons living in rural villages in central Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) using SFV-specific EIA and Western blot (WB) tests. PCR amplification of SFV polymerase sequences from DNA extracted from buffy coats was used to measure proviral loads. Phylogenetic analysis was used to define the NHP species origin of SFV. Participants completed questionnaires to capture NHP exposure information. Results Sixteen (0.5%) samples were WB-positive; 12 of 16 were from women (75%, 95% confidence limits 47.6%, 92.7%). Sequence analysis detected SFV in three women originating from Angolan colobus or red-tailed monkeys; both monkeys are hunted frequently in DRC. NHP exposure varied and infected women lived in distant villages suggesting a wide and potentially diverse distribution of SFV infections across DRC. Plasmas from 22 contacts of 8 WB-positive participants were all WB negative suggesting no secondary viral transmission. Proviral loads in the three women ranged from 14 – 1,755 copies/105 cells. Conclusions Our study documents SFV infection in rural DRC for the first time and identifies infections with novel SFV variants from Colobus and red-tailed monkeys. Unlike previous studies, women were not at lower risk for SFV infection in our population, providing opportunities for spread of SFV both horizontally and vertically. However, limited testing of close contacts of WB-positive persons did not identify human-to-human transmission. Combined with the broad behavioral risk and distribution of NHPs across DRC, our results suggest that SFV infection may have a wider geographic distribution within DRC. These results also reinforce the potential for an increased SFV prevalence throughout the forested regions of Africa where humans and simians co-exist. Our finding of endemic foci of SFV infection in DRC will facilitate longitudinal studies to determine the potential for person-to-person transmissibility and pathogenicity of these zoonotic retroviral infections.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Retrovirology
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    • "Several studies have shown that the longer the period during which an epidemic with multiple HIV-1 sources has developed, the higher is the genetic diversity of the circulating viruses [24–26]. On the other hand, a recent epidemic caused by a single HIV source displays a low heterogeneity of spreading HIV variants [27]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Before 2008, HIV-1 subtype A was the predominant genetic variant in the Novosibirsk oblast of Russia as well as in most parts of this country. However, a rapid spread of the recombinant HIV-1 02_AG form has been reported in Novosibirsk since 2009. We have analyzed the genome of the 10.RU.6637 isolate, a HIV-1 02_AG recombinant form, which represents a monophyletic cluster of the HIV-1 variants widespread in this region. Phylogenetic analysis has shown that the Siberian 10.RU.6637 isolate displays the highest sequence identity to the HIV-1 subtype AG forms circulating in Uzbekistan. However, recombination analysis of 10.RU.6637 has demonstrated that this isolate is a recombinant form between HIV-1 subtype A and CRF02_AG, differing in its genetic structure from both the CRF02_AG reference sequences and the Central Asian variants of HIV-1 02_AG.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Archives of Virology
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    • "As a number of strains remained unclassified, genetic diversity in Gabon is probably even greater, with complex mosaic compositions. A wide genetic diversity of circulating strains was also reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cameroon [20,21]. We confirmed that CRF02_AG is still the most prevalent HIV-1 subtype throughout Gabon. "
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    ABSTRACT: In Africa, the wide genetic diversity of HIV has resulted in emergence of new strains, rapid spread of this virus in sub-Saharan populations and therefore spread of the HIV epidemic throughout the continent. To determine the prevalence of antibodies to HIV among a high-risk population in Gabon, 1098 and 2916 samples were collected from pregnant women in 2005 and 2008, respectively. HIV genotypes were evaluated in 107 HIV-1-positive samples to determine the circulating subtypes of strains and their resistance to antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). The seroprevalences were 6.3% in 2005 and 6.0% in 2008. The main subtype was recombinant CRF02_AG (46.7%), followed by the subtypes A (19.6%), G (10.3%), F (4.7%), H (1.9%) and D (0.9%) and the complex recombinants CRF06_cpx (1.9%) and CRF11_cpx (1.9%); 12.1% of subtypes could not be characterized. Analysis of ARVs resistance to the protease and reverse transcriptase coding regions showed mutations associated with extensive subtype polymorphism. In the present study, the HIV strains showed reduced susceptibility to ARVs (2.8%), particularly to protease inhibitors (1.9%) and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (0.9%). The evolving genetic diversity of HIV calls for continuous monitoring of its molecular epidemiology in Gabon and in other central African countries.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · BMC Infectious Diseases
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