The goals of this study were to identify and characterize recombinant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) genomes among incident infections in a prospective cohort study of injecting drug users (IDUs) in Bangkok, Thailand. Through cross-sectional, comparative phylogenetic analysis of the protease and env (C2-V4) gene regions, subtype discordance was observed in HIV-1 sequences from 4 of 111 IDUs (3.5%). Near-full-length HIV-1 genome sequences of the four strains revealed that in all four, the gp120 sequences clustered with a CRF01_AE prototype, while the remainder of the genomes displayed distinct mosaic patterns, with multiple breakpoints between HIV-1 CRF01_AE and subtype B-like regions. Two of the four HIV-1 recombinant strains displayed a nearly identical mosaic structure, suggesting the possible emergence and spread of a potentially new circulating recombinant form of HIV-1. Further characterization of these and other recombinant genomes through long-term follow-up will be important in understanding the generation of viral diversity and escape from the host?s immune responses. This information will be especially important for vaccine development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases