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Dynamics and molecular evolution of HIV-1 strains in Sicily among antiretroviral naïve patients.

  • Autori: Tramuto, F.; Maida, C.; Bonura, F.; Perna, A.; Vitale, F.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2013
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: HIV-1 subtypes; non-B subtypes; CRF; Molecular evolution; HAART-naïve patients
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HIV-1 subtype B is the most frequent strain in Sicily. To date, there is no available data about the genetic diversity of HIV-1 viral strains circulating in Sicily among antiretroviral (ARV) naïve subjects and the role of immigration as potential determinant of evolutionary dynamics of HIV-1 molecular epidemiology. For this purpose, HIV-1 polymerase (pol) sequences obtained from 155 ARV naïve individuals from 2004 to 2009 were phylogenetically analysed. The overall rate of HIV-1 non-B infections was 31.0% (n = 48/155), increasing from 7.8% in 2004–2006 to 40.9% in 2009, and about one-third were identified as unique recombinant forms. CRF02_AG was the prevalent non-B clade (n = 28/48, 58.3%), while subtype C-related strains were responsible for about 30% HIV-1 infections. Non-B viruses strictly associated with heterosexual transmission (85.4%) and were mostly found among immigrants (77.1%). Phylogenetic analysis of non-B sequences found in foreign-born subjects was geographically correlated to the respective country of origin. Moreover, the detection of non-B viral variants in the autochthonous population may support an increasing genetic diversity in Sicily as well as a local circulation of HIV strains also uncommon in our country. In Sicily, HIV-1 epidemic is still mostly attributable to the B subtype. Nevertheless, migration and population movements are progressively introducing novel HIV-1 subtypes causing a continuous increase of HIV-1 molecular dynamic at local level. Molecular surveillance is needed to monitor the genetic evolution of HIV-1 epidemic.