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Image_1_Identification of a new circulating recombinant form of human immunodeficiency virus type 1, CRF124_cpx involving subtypes A, G, H, and CRF27_.TIF (794.71 kB)

Image_1_Identification of a new circulating recombinant form of human immunodeficiency virus type 1, CRF124_cpx involving subtypes A, G, H, and CRF27_cpx in Angola.TIF

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posted on 2022-10-17, 08:52 authored by Rayana Katylin Mendes Da Silva, Joana Morais, Brian Thomas Foley, Gonzalo Bello, Mariza Gonçalves Morgado, Monick Lindenmeyer Guimarães

Angola, located in Central Africa, has around 320,000 (270,000–380,000) people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS, equivalent to 1% of the country’s population at the end of 2021. A previous study conducted in 2012, using Angolan samples collected between 2008 and 2010 revealed a high prevalence of HIV-1 recombinants, around 42% of sequences, with 21% showing the same UH profile in partial pol region which were grouped into a monophyletic cluster with high bootstrap support. Thus, the objective of the present work was to obtain complete genomes of those sequences and characterize them, aiming at a description of a new circulating recombinant form (CRF). Whole blood from nine HIV-1 UH pol-infected individuals had their genomic DNA extracted, and nested PCR was used to amplify seven overlapping fragments targeting the full-length HIV-1 genome. The final classification was based on maximum likelihood trees, and recombination analyses were performed using a bootscan from the Simplot program. BLAST and Los Alamos Database inspections were used to search other similar H-like pol sequences. Complete genome amplification was possible for three samples, partial genomes were obtained for the other three, and only pol was available for the remaining three sequences. Bootscan analysis of the two whole-genome and three partial genome sequences retrieved from people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIVA) without epidemiological linkage showed the same complex recombination profile involving HIV-1 subtypes A/G/H/CRF27_cpx, with a total of six recombinant breakpoints, aiming to classify a new HIV-1 CRF124_cpx. We found no other full-length HIV-1 genomes with the same mosaic profile; however, we identified 33 partial pol sequences, mainly sampled from Angola between 2001 to 2019, with the same H-like profile. Bayesian analysis of H and H-like pol sequences indicates that CRF124_cpx probably originated in Angola at mid-1970s, indicating that this CRF has been circulating in the country for a long time. In summary, our study describes a new CRF circulating principally in Angola and highlights the importance of continuing molecular surveillance studies, especially in countries with high molecular diversity of HIV.

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