Characterization of HIV type 1 genetic diversity among South African participants enrolled in the AIDS Vaccine Integrated Project (AVIP) Study

Papathanasopoulos M.A. ; Vardas E. ; Wallis C. ; Glashoff R. ; Butto S. ; Poli G. ; Malnati M. ; Clerici M. ; Ensoli B. (2010)


The genetic diversity of HIV-1 strains circulating among HIV-1-infected South Africans was investigated in a cohort of 420 individuals enrolled as part of the AIDS Vaccine Integrated Project (AVIP) study. Representative samples (10%) were randomly selected from treatment-naive participants. Viral RNA was extracted for reverse transcriptase-initiated amplification and population-based sequencing of partial pol (encompassing protease and reverse transcriptase) and full-length integrase. Overall, HIV-1 sequences confirmed that 97.1% and 96.9% were HIV-1 subtype C in pol and integrase, respectively. Two participants were infected with unique A1/C and C/A1 recombinants in pol/integrase. Further pol sequence analysis identified mutation patterns associated with high level resistance to NNRTIs in two participants, whereas no primary mutations conferring resistance to integrase inhibitors were detected. The predominance of HIV-1 subtype C in South African populations is therefore confirmed in the AVIP cohort finalized for testing preventive or therapeutic vaccines against HIV-1 infection. © 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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