Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 19895209
Link to DOI – 10.1089/aid.2009.0106
AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 2009 Nov; 25(11): 1065-9
The HIV-1 epidemic in southern Brazil is characterized by the high prevalence of subtype C and CRF31_BC infections but little is known about the population dynamics of these strains over time. We used a total of 82 env and 72 pol HIV-1 subtype C sequences collected from 1991 to 2006 and 47 pol CRF31_BC sequences collected from 1998 to 2006 from Brazilian patients to reconstruct the demographic history of these HIV-1 strains. Estimations of demographic history were performed using a Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo coalescent-based approach as implemented in the BEAST program. Our analyses indicate that subtype C and CRF31_BC epidemics experienced an initial period of fast exponential spread in the southern Brazilian population during the 1980s and early 1990s, but the spreading rate of these epidemics seems to have slowed down since the middle 1990s. The initial mean exponential growth rate of the subtype C epidemic was estimated to be around 0.70-0.90/year, whereas the estimated population growth rate of CRF31_BC was 1.3/year, more than two times higher than that previously described for this CRF. These results suggest for the first time that the growth rate of subtype C and CRF31_BC epidemics has been changing over time in southern Brazil with evidence for a deceleration in recent years. During the expansion phase, the CRF31_BC seems to have spread at a rate much higher than Brazilian parental subtypes B and C.