Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 10360809
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1999 Jun; 21(2): 164-71
The concomitant presence of five distinct HIV-1 subtypes and of unclassified HIV-1 was reported in Bangui, Central African Republic (C.A.R.) between 1990 and 1991. This previous study was conducted in individuals belonging to the C.A.R. Armed Forces (FACA) Cohort and in patients from the University Hospital of Baugui. To follow the HIV-1 subtype distribution in Bangui over time, we conducted a cross-sectional surveillance of HIV-1 subtypes between 1987 and 1997 in three groups of individuals in Bangui: 47 men belonging to the FACA Cohort, 38 patients from the CNHUB hospital, and 51 individuals consulting the sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinic. One hundred and ten HIV-1 were subtyped by heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA) and/or sequencing of env regions encompassing the V3 domain. By comparing the HIV-1 distribution in two time periods (1987-1991 and 1991-1996) in the FACA cohort, we observed a significant increase of subtype A from 43.7% to 83.9%. This subtype distribution does not seem specific to the FACA cohort, in that subtype A accounted for 46.7% of the HIV-1 infections in CNHUB patients in the first time period studied and for 69.6% in the second time period. In STD patients, subtype A infections were predominant in 1995 (72.7%) and 1997 (89.7%). Subtype E viruses could be identified in the second time period, but represented only between 6.5% and 21.8% of the infections in the three groups of individuals studied. Other subtypes (B, C, H) and non-classified HIV-1 in C2-V3 were detected with only a 3.2% to 9.1% frequency for each in the second time period. Phylogenetic analysis excluded infection by a single source for the individuals included in the study. Our data demonstrate an increase in the proportion of HIV-1 subtype A infections in Bangui that raises the question of a preferential transmissibility of specific HIV-1 variants.