Diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 subtypes in Kagera and Kilimanjaro regions, Tanzania.

Nyombi BM, Kristiansen KI, Bjune G, Müller F, Holm-Hansen C. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2008 Jun;24(6):761-9.
Publication year: 


A strategy to prevent the spread of HIV-1 worldwide is complicated by the high genetic diversity of the virus. To gain a better understanding of the HIV-1 genetic diversity in Tanzania, a molecular epidemiological investigation was conducted in Kagera and Kilimanjaro regions. While several studies have addressed HIV-1 subtypes in Tanzania, this is the first study to describe the virus subtypes circulating in Kagera. The Kagera region is the epicenter of the HIV-1 epidemic in Africa, and it was therefore of interest to compare the prevalence of HIV subtypes in this region and Kilimanjaro. Blood samples were obtained from 246 HIV-1-infected pregnant women attending antenatal clinics. Plasma HIV-1 RNA was extracted, amplified, and sequenced in the env C2V3 and/or pol regions from 209 samples. Based on the analysis of env C2V3 and pol sequences, 47.4% had concordant subtypes, 19.1% were discordant indicating recombination, and for 33.5% sequences were obtained for only one region. The distribution HIV-1 subtypes based on the phylogenetic analysis of paired env C2V3/ pol sequences in Kagera region was A/A (27.8%), C/C (29.6%), D/D (16.7%), and unique recombinant forms (25.9%), and in Kilimanjaro region was A/A (32.9%), C/C (25.9%), D/D (10.6%), CRF10_CD (1.2%), and unique recombinant forms (29.4%). The env C2V3 subsubtype A2 and env C2V3/pol CRF10_CD were also observed indicating that these recombinants are circulating in Tanzania. The high diversity of HIV-1 subtypes and the high prevalence of recombinants demonstrated in this study necessitate expanded and continuous monitoring of the epidemic in Tanzania. The trend may have implications for current national control strategies against the HIV-1 epidemic