Identification of Two HIV Type 1 Circulating Recombinant Forms in Brazil

34. de Sa Filho DJ, Sucupira MC, Casiero MM, Sabino EC, Diaz RS, Janini LM (2006). Identification of two HIV type 1 circulating recombinant forms in Brazil. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. Jan;22(1):1-13.


Recombination is an important way to generate genetic diversity. Accumulation of HIV-1 full-length genomes in databases demonstrated that recombination is pervasive in viral strains collected globally. Recombinant forms achieving epidemiological relevance are termed circulating recombinant forms (CRFs). CRF12_BF was up to now the only CRF described in South America. The objective was to identify the first CRF in Brazil conducting full genome analysis of samples sharing the same partial genome recombinant structure. Ten samples obtained from individuals residing in Santos, Brazil, sharing the same recombination pattern based on partial genome sequence data, were selected from a larger group to undergo full length genome analysis. Near full length genomes were assembled from overlapping fragments. Mosaic genomes were evaluated by Bootscan, alignment inspection, and phylogenetic analysis using neighbor joining and maximum likelihood. Full genomes were also analyzed by split decomposition. We were able to identify five mosaic genomes. Two of these structures were represented by at least three samples derived from epidemiologically unlinked individuals. These structures were named CRF28_BF and CRF29_BF and are the second and third CRFs composed exclusively by subtypes B and F as well as the second and third CRFs encountered in South America. Other recombinant forms studied here resembled CRF28_BF and CRF29_BF. Our results suggest that a diverse population of related recombinants, including CRFs may play an important part in the Brazilian and South American epidemic.