Diagnosis and Monitoring of HIV-1 Group O-Infected Patients in Cameroun


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Abstract

Objective:To define a routine algorithm for the specific diagnosis and complete follow-up of HIV-1 group O (HIV-O) infections in Cameroun.Methods:During 18 months, samples referred to Centre Pasteur du Cameroun for HIV testing or viral monitoring were screened for HIV-O infection with an in-house serotyping assay. HIV-O viral load was quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction in the LTR gene and resistance genotyping was performed on pol and env sequences.Results:Of the 7030 samples tested, 78 HIV-O infections (1.1%) were identified, including 7 M and O dually seroreactive samples (9%). All treatment-naive patients and 59% of the patients receiving HAART had detectable viral loads. Analysis of pol sequences from 15 treatment-naive patients revealed a high number of polymorphisms in the protease region, with natural residues implicated in genotypic resistance to tipranavir and saquinavir for HIV-1 group M according to the Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le Sida et les Hépatites virales algorithm. Six patients (40%) harbored the 181C mutation conferring natural resistance to nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Among antiretroviral-treated patients, major resistance mutations described for HIV-1 group M were found.Conclusions:HIV-O prevalence remains relatively low in Cameroun. The cocirculation of groups M and O in this country leads to replicative dual infections. HIV-O-infected patients in this region can now benefit from effective and specific tools for a complete monitoring of infection. However, further studies are needed to understand long-term response to antiretrovirals of these complex variants.

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