Detection of distinct human immunodeficiency virus Type 1 circulating recombinant forms in Northeast Brazil

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The extraordinary genetic diversity and immune evasion of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pose significant challenges for vaccine development and antiretroviral therapy efficacy. The objective of this study was to characterize the molecular profile of HIV-1 epidemic in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, determining the genetic subtypes and the presence of antiretroviral resistance mutations. HIV-1 pol DNA sequences from 57 individuals infected with HIV were obtained by PCR, followed by sequencing. The subtypes were determined by phylogenetic analyses and the intersubtype recombination was investigated by bootscanning. The pol subtypes were compared with gag and env subtypes. Antiretroviral susceptibility was evaluated through the Stanford HIV resistance Database. The subtypes frequencies were: 77.2% of subtype B, 1.8% of subtype F1, and 21.0% of BF recombinant forms. Two intergenic and three intragenic BF recombinant patterns were observed. Six (10.5%) viruses were related to CRF28/CRF29, two were related to CRF12 (3.5%), and one (1.8%) was CRF39. Fourteen (24.6%) strains carried one or more mutations associated with at least intermediate resistance: 24.6% had resistance to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, 21.0% to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and 7% to protease inhibitors. The substitutions I54V (7.0%), M184V (14.0%), and K103N (10.5%) were the most frequent within each class of drugs. The results show a high diversity of BF genotypes and a lower prevalence of major reverse transcriptase and protease drug resistance mutations in Salvador, compared with other regions of Brazil. These findings may contribute to improve treatment strategies of patients infected with HIV-1 from this Brazilian region. J. Med. Virol. 83:2066–2072, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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