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McCormack, GP,Glynn, JR,Crampin, AC,Sibande, F,Mulawa, D,Bliss, L,Broadbent, P,Abarca, K,Ponnighaus, JM,Fine, PEM,Clewley, JP
2002
December
J Virol
Early evolution of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 subtype C epidemic in rural Malawi
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FULL-LENGTH CLONES ENV GENE-SEQUENCES HIV TYPE-1 NORTHERN MALAWI PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSIS MOLECULAR-CLONING AFRICAN ORIGIN STRAINS WOMEN RECOMBINANT
76
12890
12899
We have tracked the early years of the evolution of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) epidemic in a rural district of central east Africa from the first documented introductions of subtypes A, D, and C to the present predominance of subtype C. The earliest subtype C sequences ever reported are described. Blood samples were collected on filter papers from 1981 to 1984 and from 1987 to 1989 from more than 44,000 individuals living in two areas of Karonga District, Malawi. These samples included HIV-1-positive samples from 200 people. In 1982 to 1984, HIV-1 subtypes A, C, and D were all present, though in small numbers. By 1987 to 1989, 152 (90%) of a total of 168 sequences were subtype C and AC, AD, and DC recombinants had emerged. Four of the subtype C sequences from 1983 to 1984 were closely related and were found at the base of a large cluster of low diversity that by the late 1980s accounted for 40% of C sequences. The other two early C sequences fell into a separate and more diverse cluster. Three other clusters containing sequences from the late 1980s were identified. Each cluster contained at least one sample from a person who had recently arrived in the district. From 18 HIV-1-positive spouse pairs, 12 very closely related pairs of sequences were identified. We conclude that there were multiple introductions of HIV-1 with limited spread, followed by explosive growth of a subtype C cluster, probably arising from a single introduction in or before 1983.
DOI 10.1128/JVI.76.24.12890-12899.2002
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