Heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 subtype c in Southern Brazil

Silveira, Jussara Maria; Santos, Andre Ferreira dos; Martinez, Ana Maria Blanco; Góes, Lívia Ramos; Sassi, Raul Andrés Mendonza; Muniz, Claudia Priscila Ramos; Tupinambás, Unaí; Soares, Marcelo Alves; Greco, Dirceu Bartolomeu


Background: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) subtype B predominates in Brazil, but in the southern region subtype C is the most frequent, followed by subtypes B, F1 and recombinant forms. In southern Brazil, these subtypes co-circulate in subjects with homogeneous demographic and clinical features, enabling a better understanding of the role of HIV-1 subtypes on the characteristics of infection. Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of different HIV-1 subtypes in subjects with recent diagnosis for HIV infection in the extreme south of Brazil, and to study their association with demographic, behavioral, clinical and laboratorial characteristics. Study design: We have determined the genetic sequence of viral protease and reverse transcriptase (polymerase, connection and RNase H domains) isolated from studied subjects. Viral subtype was inferred by comparison with reference HIV sequences, and recombination was determined with Simplot analysis. The association of HIV-1 subtypes with studied characteristics was evaluated by chi-square, Fisher’s exact, Student’s t and Kruskal–Wallis tests. Results: Two hundred and forty-five HIV isolates were molecularly characterized, and the association with variables was studied for 233 (95.1%) patients. Of those, 46.8% followed AIDS defining criteria. HIV-1C was responsible for 56.3% of infections, and was associated with heterosexual transmission (p = 0.001) and with higher CD4+ T-cell counts (p = 0.02). Conclusions: The molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 in the southernmost Brazil is currently steady with predominance of HIV-1C. This is the first study showing a robust association of the infection by this subtype and heterosexual transmission in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

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  • FAMED – Artigos publicados em periódicos