Summary:Limited data exist on the distribution of HIV-1 subtypes in Côte d'Ivoire. The aim of this study is to describe the distribution of genetic subtypes of HIV-1 strains in six regions of Côte d'Ivoire. In 1997, we consecutively collected blood from 172 HIV-1-infected patients from six regional tuberculosis treatment centers. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from these people were analyzed by a restriction fragment-length polymorphism (RFLP) assay that involves a sequential endonuclease digestion of a 297-base pair polymerase chain reaction (PCR) fragment; plasma samples were tested by a V3-loop peptide enzyme immunoassay (PEIA). DNA sequencing of the protease or env genes was performed on all samples discordant in the two assays as well as a random sample of the concordant subtyped samples. Of 172 specimens, 3 were PCR-negative, and 169 were putatively classified as subtype A by RFLP. The 3 PCR-negative samples were unequivocally subtyped A by PEIA. Of the 169 RFLP subtype A samples, 159 (94%) were subtyped A by PEIA. Of the 10 discordant samples, PEIA testing classified 3 as subtype C, 2 as D, and 5 as F. Sequencing of the env gene classified these samples as 1 subtype A, 4 Ds, and 5 Gs. Thus, 163 (95%) of the specimens were subtype A, 3 subtype D, 4 subtype G, 1 A/D, and 1 A/G (IbNG) circulating recombinant forms (CRF). In conclusion, most HIV-1- infected tuberculosis patients throughout the interior of Côte d'Ivoire are infected with HIV-1subtype A, which are very likely the A/G (IbNG) CRF. The uniform distribution of this subtype makes Côte d'Ivoire a potential site for vaccine trials.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to John N. Nkengasong. Laboratory of Virology, Projet RETRO-CI, 01 BP 1712 Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Manuscript received June 9, 1999; accepted November 24, 1999.
© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.