Potential Impact of Viral Load and Genetic Makeup of HIV Type 1 on Mother-to-Child Transmission: Characterization of env-C2V3C3 and nef Sequences

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HIV-1 mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) was evaluated in terms of the molecular characterization of the env and nef genomic regions and quantification of maternal RNA viral loads. Assignment of viral subtype was achieved by direct sequencing of PCR products amplified from proviral DNA in 45 HIV-1-nontransmitting mothers (NTM), along with 13 pairs of HIV-1-transmitting mothers (TM) and their infected children (C). Analysis of the env C2V3C3 and nef sequences revealed that subtypes G and B, and their genetic combinations (AG, BG), accounted for over 84.5% of all viruses identified. The genetic structure form envA-nefG was the most commonly observed, with a lower frequency in the NTM (13.3%) compared to the TM (23.1%) group. A greater number of genetic forms was observed among NTM, namely the presence of sequences assigned to subtypes D and F, as well as the intergenetic A/J, and C/U, recombinant forms, along with a mosaic provirus with a complex putative envA-nefEGE genetic structure. No significant differences were found when RNA viral loads were evaluated as a function of the viral subtypes. Nevertheless, a relatively high quantification of HIV-1 RNA was obtained in the NTM group, emphasizing the importance of the compliance and effectiveness of therapeutic schemes to control viral replication and reduce the risk of HIV vertical transmission. V3 sequences displaying features associated-with the R5 phenotype dominated in both groups. Both C2V3C3 and Nef's functional domains were conserved during HIV-1 vertical transmission.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)1171-1177
JournalAIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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