Genetic characterization of HIV type 1 and type 2 from Bissau, Guinea-Bissau (West Africa)

Aida Esteves, Ricardo Parreira, João Piedade, Teresa Venenno, Wanda F. Canas-Ferreira

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies from Guinea-Bissau (West Africa) have demonstrated a unique epidemiology with respect to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 infection. In order to evaluate the prevalence and dynamics of HIV-1 and HIV-2 subtypes in Bissau, the capital city of Guinea-Bissau, a cross-sectional study was set up using serological and molecular techniques. Plasma samples from 103 individuals were screened for HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies by ELISA and Western-blot. Seropositive results were confirmed by PCR amplification of proviral sequences in primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with env and LTR primer sets for HIV-2 and env, LTR and pol primers for HIV-1. A total of 38/103 individuals were HIV-seroreactive (four HIV-1, 15 HIV-2, 19 HIV-1/HIV-2). A total of eight out of 19 dually seropositive specimens showed double PCR amplification of HIV-1 and HIV-2 proviral sequences, accounting for 21% of the infected individuals. In the remaining 11 individuals either HIV-2 or HIV-1 sequences were detected, the majority (n = 9) amplifying only HIV-2. These screening data demonstrate a high discrepancy between serology and PCR results for dually seroreactive samples, Western-blot giving an overestimation of double infection. Additionally, HIV-1 strains were subtyped by heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA) on the basis of gp120 sequences. Subtyping of HIV-2 was carried out by DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of env V3 molecular clones. For both HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains circulating in Bissau, our results indicate dominance of subtype A. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-61
Number of pages11
JournalVirus research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2000


  • Guinea-Bissau
  • HIV-1
  • HIV-2
  • Subtypes
  • West Africa


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