HIV-1 subtype C dissemination in southern Brazil

Soares, Esmeralda Augusta Jardim Machado; Martinez, Ana Maria Barral de; Souza, Thatiana; Santos, André Felipe Andrade dos; Hora, Vanusa Pousada da; Silveira, Jussara Maria; Bastos, Francisco; Tanuri, Amilcar; Soares, Marcelo Alves


Objectives: To describe the molecular and epidemiological profile of HIV-1 in patients followed at the University Hospital of Rio Grande, Brazil. Design and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from September to December 2002. Plasma viral RNA of 85 patients was extracted and protease and reverse transcriptase genes were polymerase chain reaction-amplified and sequenced. Sequences were subtyped and examined to antiretroviral resistance mutations. Laboratory data and past history of antiretroviral treatment were also collected. Results: Most viruses were either subtype B (42%) or subtype C (45%). No risk behaviour, sexual orientation or laboratory parameter was associated with any specific subtype, but subtype C tended to be more frequently found in women (P ¼ 0.06). The prevalence of subtype C has increased over the HIV/AIDS epidemic, accounting for almost 60% of cases diagnosed in 2002. Intra-subtype genetic distances were smaller in subtype C than in subtype B, suggesting a more recent introduction of the former in the epidemic. Of patients under treatment, 60% had at least one antiretroviral drug resistance mutation, but no mutation was specifically associated with any HIV-1 subtype. Only one resistance mutation each was found in drug-naive patients with subtypes B and C. Conclusion: Despite the fact that subtype C appeared in southern Brazil more recently than subtype B, it is now the predominant strain in Rio Grande. The epidemic spread of subtype C could be taking place in Brazil, and possibly in south America, a phenomenon similar to that seen in other countries where this subtype is now totally dominant.

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  • FAMED – Artigos publicados em periódicos