Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 49 in total

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  1. Cheong HT, Chow WZ, Takebe Y, Chook JB, Chan KG, Al-Darraji HA, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(7):e0133883.
    PMID: 26196131 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133883
    In many parts of Southeast Asia, the HIV-1 epidemic has been driven by the sharing of needles and equipment among intravenous drug users (IDUs). Over the last few decades, many studies have proven time and again that the diversity of HIV-1 epidemics can often be linked to the route of infection transmission. That said, the diversity and complexity of HIV-1 molecular epidemics in the region have been increasing at an alarming rate, due in part to the high tendency of the viral RNA to recombine. This scenario was exemplified by the discovery of numerous circulating recombinant forms (CRFs), especially in Thailand and Malaysia. In this study, we characterized a novel CRF designated CRF74_01B, which was identified in six epidemiologically unlinked IDUs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The near-full length genomes were composed of CRF01_AE and subtype B', with eight breakpoints dispersed in the gag-pol and nef regions. Remarkably, this CRF shared four and two recombination hotspots with the previously described CRF33_01B and the less prevalent CRF53_01B, respectively. Genealogy-based Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of CRF74_01B genomic regions showed that it is closely related to both CRF33_01B and CRF53_01B. This observation suggests that CRF74_01B was probably a direct descendent from specific lineages of CRF33_01B, CRF53_01B and subtype B' that could have emerged in the mid-1990s. Additionally, it illustrated the active recombination processes between prevalent HIV-1 subtypes and recombinants in Malaysia. In summary, we report a novel HIV-1 genotype designated CRF74_01B among IDUs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The characterization of the novel CRF74_01B is of considerable significance towards the understanding of the genetic diversity and population dynamics of HIV-1 circulating in the region.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  2. Tee KK, Kantor R, Sungkanuparph S, Takebe Y, Li P, Ditangco R, et al.
    J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr., 2015 Sep 1;70(1):e28-30.
    PMID: 25835606 DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000000614
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics
  3. Cheong HT, Ng KT, Ong LY, Chook JB, Chan KG, Takebe Y, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2014;9(10):e111236.
    PMID: 25340817 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111236
    A novel HIV-1 recombinant clade (CRF51_01B) was recently identified among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Singapore. As cases of sexually transmitted HIV-1 infection increase concurrently in two socioeconomically intimate countries such as Malaysia and Singapore, cross transmission of HIV-1 between said countries is highly probable. In order to investigate the timeline for the emergence of HIV-1 CRF51_01B in Singapore and its possible introduction into Malaysia, 595 HIV-positive subjects recruited in Kuala Lumpur from 2008 to 2012 were screened. Phylogenetic relationship of 485 amplified polymerase gene sequences was determined through neighbour-joining method. Next, near-full length sequences were amplified for genomic sequences inferred to be CRF51_01B and subjected to further analysis implemented through Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling and maximum likelihood methods. Based on the near full length genomes, two isolates formed a phylogenetic cluster with CRF51_01B sequences of Singapore origin, sharing identical recombination structure. Spatial and temporal information from Bayesian MCMC coalescent and maximum likelihood analysis of the protease, gp120 and gp41 genes suggest that Singapore is probably the country of origin of CRF51_01B (as early as in the mid-1990s) and featured a Malaysian who acquired the infection through heterosexual contact as host for its ancestral lineages. CRF51_01B then spread rapidly among the MSM in Singapore and Malaysia. Although the importation of CRF51_01B from Singapore to Malaysia is supported by coalescence analysis, the narrow timeframe of the transmission event indicates a closely linked epidemic. Discrepancies in the estimated divergence times suggest that CRF51_01B may have arisen through multiple recombination events from more than one parental lineage. We report the cross transmission of a novel CRF51_01B lineage between countries that involved different sexual risk groups. Understanding the cross-border transmission of HIV-1 involving sexual networks is crucial for effective intervention strategies in the region.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  4. Chook JB, Ong LY, Takebe Y, Chan KG, Choo M, Kamarulzaman A, et al.
    Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 2015 Mar;92(3):507-512.
    PMID: 25535315 DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0681
    A molecular genotyping assay for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) circulating in Southeast Asia is difficult to design because of the high level of genetic diversity. We developed a multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to detect subtype B, CRF01_AE, CRF33_01B, and three newly described circulating recombinant forms, (CRFs) (CRF53_01B, CRF54_01B, and CRF58_01B). A total of 785 reference genomes were used for subtype-specific primers and TaqMan probes design targeting the gag, pol, and env genes. The performance of this assay was compared and evaluated with direct sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. A total of 180 HIV-infected subjects from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were screened and 171 samples were successfully genotyped, in agreement with the phylogenetic data. The HIV-1 genotype distribution was as follows: subtype B (16.7%); CRF01_AE (52.8%); CRF33_01B (24.4%); CRF53_01B (1.1%); CRF54_01B (0.6%); and CRF01_AE/B unique recombinant forms (4.4%). The overall accuracy of the genotyping assay was over 95.0%, in which the sensitivities for subtype B, CRF01_AE, and CRF33_01B detection were 100%, 100%, and 97.7%, respectively. The specificity of genotyping was 100%, inter-subtype specificities were > 95% and the limit of detection of 10(3) copies/mL for plasma. The newly developed real-time PCR assay offers a rapid and cost-effective alternative for large-scale molecular epidemiological surveillance for HIV-1.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  5. Ng KT, Ong LY, Lim SH, Takebe Y, Kamarulzaman A, Tee KK
    PLoS ONE, 2013;8(6):e67286.
    PMID: 23840653 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067286
    HIV-1 epidemics among men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to expand in developed and developing countries. Although HIV infection in MSM is amongst the highest of the key affected populations in many countries in Southeast Asia, comprehensive molecular epidemiological study of HIV-1 among MSM remains inadequate in the region including in Malaysia. Here, we reported the phylodynamic profiles of HIV-1 genotypes circulating among MSM population in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A total of n = 459 newly-diagnosed treatment-naïve consenting subjects were recruited between March 2006 and August 2012, of whom 87 (18.9%) were self-reported MSM. Transmitted drug resistance mutations were absent in these isolates. Cumulatively, phylogenetic reconstructions of the pro-rt gene (HXB2∶2253-3275) showed that HIV-1 subtype B and CRF01_AE were predominant and contributed to approximately 80% of the total HIV-1 infection among MSM. In addition to numerous unique transmission lineages within these genotypes, twelve monophyletic transmission clusters of different sizes (2-7 MSM sequences, supported by posterior probability value of 1) were identified in Malaysia. Bayesian coalescent analysis estimated that the divergence times for these clusters were mainly dated between 1995 and 2005 with four major transmission clusters radiating at least 12 years ago suggesting that active spread of multiple sub-epidemic clusters occurred during this period. The changes in effective population size of subtype B showed an exponential growth within 5 years between 1988 and 1993, while CRF01_AE lineage exhibited similar expansion between 1993 and 2003. Our study provides the first insight of the phylodynamic profile of HIV-1 subtype B and CRF01_AE circulating among MSM population in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, unravelling the importance of understanding transmission behaviours as well as evolutionary history of HIV-1 in assessing the risk of outbreak or epidemic expansion.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  6. Chow WZ, Al-Darraji H, Lee YM, Takebe Y, Kamarulzaman A, Tee KK
    J. Virol., 2012 Oct;86(20):11398-9.
    PMID: 22997419
    A novel HIV-1 genotype designated CRF53_01B was recently characterized from three epidemiologically unrelated persons in Malaysia. Here we announced three recently isolated full-length genomes of CRF53_01B, which is likely to be phylogenetically linked to CRF33_01B, circulating widely in Southeast Asia. The genome sequences may contribute to HIV-1 molecular surveillance and future vaccine development in the region.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  7. Tee KK, Li XJ, Nohtomi K, Ng KP, Kamarulzaman A, Takebe Y
    J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr., 2006 Dec 15;43(5):523-9.
    PMID: 17031320
    A molecular epidemiological investigation was conducted among various risk populations (n = 184) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2003 to 2005, on the basis of nucleotide sequences of protease and reverse transcriptase regions. In addition to circulating HIV-1 strains, including CRF01_AE (57.1%), subtype B (20.1%), and subtype C (0.5%), we detected a candidate with a new circulating recombinant form (CRF). We determined four near-full-length nucleotide sequences with identical subtype structure from epidemiologically unlinked individuals of different risk and ethnic groups. In this chimera, two short subtype B segments were inserted into the gag-RT region in a backbone of CRF01_AE. The recombinant structure was distinct from previously identified CRF15_01B in Thailand. In agreement with the current HIV nomenclature system, this constitutes a novel CRF (CRF33_01B). The overall prevalence of CRF33_01B is 19.0% (35/184). Although the prevalence of CRF33_01B is particularly high among injecting drug users (42.0%, 21/50), it is also detected in a substantial proportion of homo-/bisexual males (18.8%, 3/16) and heterosexuals (9.8%, 9/92). Moreover, unique recombinant forms composed of CRF01_AE and subtype B that have a significant structural relationship with CRF33_01B were detected in 1.6% (3/184) of study subjects, suggesting an ongoing recombination process in Malaysia. This new CRF seems to be bridging viral transmission between different risk populations in this country.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics
  8. Wang B, Lau KA, Ong LY, Shah M, Steain MC, Foley B, et al.
    Virology, 2007 Oct 25;367(2):288-97.
    PMID: 17604072
    The HIV protease-reverse transcriptase (PR-RT) (1047 bp), gp120-env (891 bp) and gp41-env (547 bp) regions from the plasma of 115 HIV-1-infected patients in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia were sequenced. Detailed phylogenetic and bootscanning analyses were performed to determine the mosaic structure of the HIV-1 strains and their recombination breakpoint(s). Among the 50 patient samples in which all three regions could be amplified, the HIV-1 CRF01_AE subtype (46%) was predominant followed by subtypes B (10%) and B' (6%). A total of 9/50 (18%) patients were infected with a CRF01_AE/B inter-subtype recombinant, displaying a recombinant form (RF)(PR-RT), CRF01_AE(gp120-env) and CRF01_AE(gp41-env). This RF was derived from the Thai variants of CRF01_AE and B' subtype, with two distinct B' subtype segments in the backbone of CRF01_AE, similar to the newly identified CRF33_01B. In addition, one sample demonstrated a close structural relationship with the new CRF33_01B in the PR-RT region but displayed B' segment in part of the env region (RF(PR-RT), CRF01_AE/B'(gp120-env) and B'(gp41-env)) indicating continuing evolution of CRF33_01B. The remaining 18% of samples were identified as unique recombinant forms (URFs).
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  9. Beyrer C, Vancott TC, Peng NK, Artenstein A, Duriasamy G, Nagaratnam M, et al.
    AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses, 1998 Dec 20;14(18):1687-91.
    PMID: 9870323
    We investigated the molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 subtypes in Malaysia among injecting drug users (IDUs) and sexual transmission risk groups, using serologic and genetic techniques. Frozen sera collected at a general hospital, a blood bank, several drug treatment centers, and an STD clinic in Kuala Lumpur, between 1992 and 1996, were investigated retrospectively. V3 peptide serotyping and monomeric gp120 capture serotyping were used to study 89 known HIV-1-infected subjects. The methods differentiate subtypes B, E, and C. V3 peptide and gp120 capture results were comparable. No subtype C-specific reactive sera were found; one specimen was dually reactive for subtypes C and B, using the V3 peptide ELISA; and four were durally reactive for subtypes E and C using this assay. Genotypic analysis of HIV-1 gag RNA in serum was done on a subset of subjects and confirmed serologic findings. HIV-1 subtypes differed significantly by risk category: of 53 IDUs, 29 (55%) were infected with subtype B and 19 (36%) were infected with subtype E, 3 (6%) were dually reactive, and 2 (4%) were not typable. Of 36 persons with heterosexual risks, 29 (81%) were infected with subtype E, 5 (14%) were infected with subtype B, and 2 (5%) were not typable. Persons with IDU risks were significantly more likely to be infected with subtype B than were those with sexual risks (OR 5.89; 95% CI, 1.94-18.54; p < 0.001). Subtypes B and E of HIV-1 appear to predominate in Malaysia; subtype B was more prevalent among IDUs; subtype E was more prevalent among all other groups. These results may have important HIV-1 vaccine implications.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  10. Cassol S, Weniger BG, Babu PG, Salminen MO, Zheng X, Htoon MT, et al.
    AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses, 1996 Oct 10;12(15):1435-41.
    PMID: 8893051
    Global surveillance of HIV-1 subtypes for genetic characterization is hampered by the biohazard of processing and the difficulties of shipping whole blood or cells from many developing country regions. We developed a technique for the direct automated sequencing of viral DNA from dried blood spot (DBS) specimens collected on absorbent paper, which can be mailed unrefrigerated in sturdy paper envelopes with low biohazard risk. DBS were collected nonrandomly from HIV-1-infected, mostly asymptomatic, patients in five Asian countries in 1991, and shipped via airmail or hand carried without refrigeration to Bangkok, and then transshipped to North America for processing. After more than 2 years of storage, including 6 months at ambient temperatures, proviral DNA in the DBS was amplified by nested PCR, and a 389-nucleotide segment of the C2-V3 env gene region was sequenced, from which 287 base pairs were aligned and subtyped by phylogenetic analysis with neighbor-joining and other methods. From southern India, there were 25 infections with subtype C and 2 with subtype A. From Myanmar (Burma), we identified the first subtype E infection, as well as six subtype BB, a distinct cluster within subtype B that was first discovered in Thailand and that has now appeared in China, Malaysia, and Japan. From southwest China, one BB was identified, while a "classical" B typical of North American and European strains was found in Indonesia. From Thailand, five DBS of ambiguous serotype were identified as three B, one BB, and one E. A blinded control serotype E specimen was correctly identified, but a serotype BB control was not tested. Most HIV-1 in southern India appears to be env subtype C, with rare A, as others have reported in western and northern India. The subtypes BB and E in Myanmar, and the BB in China, suggest epidemiological linkage with these subtypes in neighboring Thailand. DBS are a practical, economical technique for conducting large-scale molecular epidemiological surveillance to track the global distribution and spread of HIV-1 variants.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  11. Jagdagsuren D, Hayashida T, Takano M, Gombo E, Zayasaikhan S, Kanayama N, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(12):e0189605.
    PMID: 29244859 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189605
    OBJECTIVE: Our previous 2005-2009 molecular epidemiological study in Mongolia identified a hot spot of HIV-1 transmission in men who have sex with men (MSM). To control the infection, we collaborated with NGOs to promote safer sex and HIV testing since mid-2010. In this study, we carried out the second molecular epidemiological survey between 2010 and 2016 to determine the status of HIV-1 infection in Mongolia.

    METHODS: The study included 143 new cases of HIV-1 infection. Viral RNA was extracted from stocked plasma samples and sequenced for the pol and the env regions using the Sanger method. Near-full length sequencing using MiSeq was performed in 3 patients who were suspected to be infected with recombinant HIV-1. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using the neighbor-joining method and Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method.

    RESULTS: MSM was the main transmission route in the previous and current studies. However, heterosexual route showed a significant increase in recent years. Phylogenetic analysis documented three taxa; Mongolian B, Korean B, and CRF51_01B, though the former two were also observed in the previous study. CRF51_01B, which originated from Singapore and Malaysia, was confirmed by near-full length sequencing. Although these strains were mainly detected in MSM, they were also found in increasing numbers of heterosexual males and females. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis estimated transmission of CRF51_01B into Mongolia around early 2000s. An extended Bayesian skyline plot showed a rapid increase in the effective population size of Mongolian B cluster around 2004 and that of CRF51_01B cluster around 2011.

    CONCLUSIONS: HIV-1 infection might expand to the general population in Mongolia. Our study documented a new cluster of HIV-1 transmission, enhancing our understanding of the epidemiological status of HIV-1 in Mongolia.

    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  12. SahBandar IN, Takahashi K, Motomura K, Djoerban Z, Firmansyah I, Kitamura K, et al.
    AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses, 2011 Jan;27(1):97-102.
    PMID: 20958201 DOI: 10.1089/aid.2010.0163
    Cocirculation of subtype B and CRF01_AE in Southeast Asia has led to the establishment of new recombinant forms. In our previous study, we found five samples suspected of being recombinants between subtype B and CRF01_AE, and here, we analyzed near full-length sequences of two samples and compared them to known CRFs_01B, subtype B, and CRF01_AE. Five overlapped segments were amplified with nested PCR from PBMC DNA, sequenced, and analyzed for genome mosaicism. The two Indonesian samples, 07IDJKT189 and 07IDJKT194, showed genome-mosaic patterns similar to CRF33_01B references from Malaysia, with one short segment in the 3' end of the p31 integrase-coding region, which was rather more similar to subtype B than CRF01_AE, consisting of unclassified sequences. These results suggest gene-specific continuous diversification and spread of the CRF33_01B genomes in Southeast Asia.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  13. Li Y, Tee KK, Liao H, Hase S, Uenishi R, Li XJ, et al.
    J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr., 2010 Jun;54(2):129-36.
    PMID: 20386110 DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181d82ce5
    A molecular epidemiological investigation conducted among injecting drug users in eastern Peninsular Malaysia in 2007 identified a cluster of sequences (n = 3) located outside any known HIV-1 genotype. Analyses of near full-length nucleotide sequences of these strains from individuals with no recognizable linkage revealed that they have an identical subtype structure comprised of CRF01_AE and subtype B', distinct from any known circulating recombinant forms (CRFs). This novel CRF, designated CRF48_01B, is closely related to CRF33_01B, previously identified in Kuala Lumpur. Phylogenetic analysis of multiple CRF48_01B genome regions showed that CRF48_01B forms a monophyletic cluster within CRF33_01B, suggesting that this new recombinant is very likely a descendant of CRF33_01B. CRF48_01B thus represents one of the first examples of a "second-generation" CRF, generated by additional crossover with pre-existing CRFs. Corroborating these results, Bayesian molecular clock analyses indicated that CRF48_01B emerged in approximately 2001, approximately approximately 8 years after the emergence of CRF33_01B.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  14. Tee KK, Kusagawa S, Li XJ, Onogi N, Isogai M, Hase S, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2009;4(8):e6666.
    PMID: 19688091 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006666
    A growing number of emerging HIV-1 recombinants classified as circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) have been identified in Southeast Asia in recent years, establishing a molecular diversity of increasing complexity in the region. Here, we constructed a replication-competent HIV-1 clone for CRF33_01B (designated p05MYKL045.1), a newly identified recombinant comprised of CRF01_AE and subtype B. p05MYKL045.1 was reconstituted by cloning of the near full-length HIV-1 sequence from a newly-diagnosed individual presumably infected heterosexually in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The chimeric clone, which contains the 5' LTR (long terminal repeat) region of p93JP-NH1 (a previously isolated CRF01_AE infectious clone), showed robust viral replication in the human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. This clone demonstrated robust viral propagation and profound syncytium formation in CD4+, CXCR4-expressing human glioma NP-2 cells, indicating that p05MYKL045.1 is a CXCR4-using virus. Viral propagation, however, was not detected in various human T cell lines including MT-2, M8166, Sup-T1, H9, Jurkat, Molt-4 and PM1. p05MYKL045.1 appears to proliferate only in restricted host range, suggesting that unknown viral and/or cellular host factors may play a role in viral infectivity and replication in human T cell lines. Availability of a CRF33_01B molecular clone will be useful in facilitating the development of vaccine candidates that match the HIV-1 strains circulating in Southeast Asia.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics
  15. Ng KT, Ng KY, Khong WX, Chew KK, Singh PK, Yap JK, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2013;8(12):e80884.
    PMID: 24312505 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080884
    HIV-1 subtype B and CRF01_AE are the predominant infecting subtypes among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Singapore. The genetic history, population dynamics and pattern of transmission networks of these genotypes remain largely unknown. We delineated the phylodynamic profiles of HIV-1 subtype B, CRF01_AE and the recently characterized CRF51_01B strains circulating among the MSM population in Singapore. A total of 105 (49.5%) newly-diagnosed treatment-naïve MSM were recruited between February 2008 and August 2009. Phylogenetic reconstructions of the protease gene (HXB2: 2239 - 2629), gp120 (HXB2: 6942 - 7577) and gp41 (HXB2: 7803 - 8276) of the env gene uncovered five monophyletic transmission networks (two each within subtype B and CRF01_AE and one within CRF51_01B lineages) of different sizes (involving 3 - 23 MSM subjects, supported by posterior probability measure of 1.0). Bayesian coalescent analysis estimated that the emergence and dissemination of multiple sub-epidemic networks occurred between 1995 and 2005, driven largely by subtype B and later followed by CRF01_AE. Exponential increase in effective population size for both subtype B and CRF01_AE occurred between 2002 to 2007 and 2005 to 2007, respectively. Genealogical estimates suggested that the novel CRF51_01B lineages were probably generated through series of recombination events involving CRF01_AE and multiple subtype B ancestors. Our study provides the first insight on the phylodynamic profiles of HIV-1 subtype B, CRF01_AE and CRF51_01B viral strains circulating among MSM in Singapore.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  16. Lau KA, Wang B, Kamarulzaman A, Ng KP, Saksena NK
    AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses, 2007 Sep;23(9):1139-45.
    PMID: 17919110
    A new HIV-1 circulating recombinant form (CRF), CRF33_01B, has been identified in Malaysia. Concurrently we found a unique recombinant form (URF), that is, the HIV-1 isolate 06MYKLD46, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is composed of B or a Thai variant of the B subtype (B') and CRF01_AE. Here, we determined the near full-length genome of the isolate 06MYKLD46 and performed detailed phylogenetic and bootscanning analyses to characterize its mosaic composition and to further confirm the subtype assignments. Although the majority of the 06MYKLD46 genome is CRF01_AE, we found three short fragments of B or B' subtype inserted along the genome. These B or B' subtype regions were 716 and 335 bp, respectively, in the protease-reverse transcriptase (PR-RT) region, similar to those found in CRF33_01B, as well as an extra 590 bp in the env gene region. Thus we suggest that 06MYKLD46 is a possible second-generation HIV-1 recombinant derived from CRF33_01B.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics
  17. Hora B, Keating SM, Chen Y, Sanchez AM, Sabino E, Hunt G, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(6):e0157340.
    PMID: 27314585 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157340
    HIV-1 subtypes and drug resistance are routinely tested by many international surveillance groups. However, results from different sites often vary. A systematic comparison of results from multiple sites is needed to determine whether a standardized protocol is required for consistent and accurate data analysis. A panel of well-characterized HIV-1 isolates (N = 50) from the External Quality Assurance Program Oversight Laboratory (EQAPOL) was assembled for evaluation at seven international sites. This virus panel included seven subtypes, six circulating recombinant forms (CRFs), nine unique recombinant forms (URFs) and three group O viruses. Seven viruses contained 10 major drug resistance mutations (DRMs). HIV-1 isolates were prepared at a concentration of 107 copies/ml and compiled into blinded panels. Subtypes and DRMs were determined with partial or full pol gene sequences by conventional Sanger sequencing and/or Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). Subtype and DRM results were reported and decoded for comparison with full-length genome sequences generated by EQAPOL. The partial pol gene was amplified by RT-PCR and sequenced for 89.4%-100% of group M viruses at six sites. Subtyping results of majority of the viruses (83%-97.9%) were correctly determined for the partial pol sequences. All 10 major DRMs in seven isolates were detected at these six sites. The complete pol gene sequence was also obtained by NGS at one site. However, this method missed six group M viruses and sequences contained host chromosome fragments. Three group O viruses were only characterized with additional group O-specific RT-PCR primers employed by one site. These results indicate that PCR protocols and subtyping tools should be standardized to efficiently amplify diverse viruses and more consistently assign virus genotypes, which is critical for accurate global subtype and drug resistance surveillance. Targeted NGS analysis of partial pol sequences can serve as an alternative approach, especially for detection of low-abundance DRMs.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  18. Jiamsakul A, Chaiwarith R, Durier N, Sirivichayakul S, Kiertiburanakul S, Van Den Eede P, et al.
    J. Med. Virol., 2016 Feb;88(2):234-43.
    PMID: 26147742 DOI: 10.1002/jmv.24320
    HIV drug resistance assessments and interpretations can be obtained from genotyping (GT), virtual phenotyping (VP) and laboratory-based phenotyping (PT). We compared resistance calls obtained from GT and VP with those from PT (GT-PT and VP-PT) among CRF01_AE and subtype B HIV-1 infected patients. GT predictions were obtained from the Stanford HIV database. VP and PT were obtained from Janssen Diagnostics BVBA's vircoType(TM) HIV-1 and Antivirogram®, respectively. With PT assumed as the "gold standard," the area under the curve (AUC) and the Bland-Altman plot were used to assess the level of agreement in resistance interpretations. A total of 80 CRF01_AE samples from Asia and 100 subtype B from Janssen Diagnostics BVBA's database were analysed. CRF01_AE showed discordances ranging from 3 to 27 samples for GT-PT and 1 to 20 samples for VP-PT. The GT-PT and VP-PT AUCs were 0.76-0.97 and 0.81-0.99, respectively. Subtype B showed 3-61 discordances for GT-PT and 2-75 discordances for VP-PT. The AUCs ranged from 0.55 to 0.95 for GT-PT and 0.55 to 0.97 for VP-PT. Didanosine had the highest proportion of discordances and/or AUC in all comparisons. The patient with the largest didanosine FC difference in each subtype harboured Q151M mutation. Overall, GT and VP predictions for CRF01_AE performed significantly better than subtype B for three NRTIs. Although discrepancies exist, GT and VP resistance interpretations in HIV-1 CRF01_AE strains were highly robust in comparison with the gold-standard PT.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
  19. Mualif SA, Teow SY, Omar TC, Chew YW, Yusoff NM, Ali SA
    PLoS ONE, 2015;10(7):e0130446.
    PMID: 26147991 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130446
    Relative ease in handling and manipulation of Escherichia coli strains make them primary candidate to express proteins heterologously. Overexpression of heterologous genes that contain codons infrequently used by E. coli is related with difficulties such as mRNA instability, early termination of transcription and/or translation, deletions and/or misincorporation, and cell growth inhibition. These codon bias -associated problems are addressed by co-expressing ColE1-compatible, rare tRNA expressing helper plasmids. However, this approach has inadequacies, which we have addressed by engineering an expression vector that concomitantly expresses the heterologous protein of interest, and rare tRNA genes in E. coli. The expression vector contains three (argU, ileY, leuW) rare tRNA genes and a useful multiple cloning site for easy in-frame cloning. To maintain the overall size of the parental plasmid vector, the rare tRNA genes replaced the non-essential DNA segments in the vector. The cloned gene is expressed under the control of T7 promoter and resulting recombinant protein has a C-terminal 6His tag for IMAC-mediated purification. We have evaluated the usefulness of this expression vector by expressing three HIV-1 genes namely HIV-1 p27 (nef), HIV-1 p24 (ca), and HIV-1 vif in NiCo21(DE3) E.coli and demonstrated the advantages of using expression vector that concomitantly expresses rare tRNA and heterologous genes.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics
  20. Chow WZ, Ong LY, Razak SH, Lee YM, Ng KT, Yong YK, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2013;8(5):e62560.
    PMID: 23667490 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062560
    Since the discovery of HIV-1 circulating recombinant form (CRF) 33_01B in Malaysia in the early 2000 s, continuous genetic diversification and active recombination involving CRF33_01B and other circulating genotypes in the region including CRF01_AE and subtype B' of Thai origin, have led to the emergence of novel CRFs and unique recombinant forms. The history and magnitude of CRF33_01B transmission among various risk groups including people who inject drugs (PWID) however have not been investigated despite the high epidemiological impact of CRF33_01B in the region. We update the most recent molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 among PWIDs recruited in Malaysia between 2010 and 2011 by population sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of 128 gag-pol sequences. HIV-1 CRF33_01B was circulating among 71% of PWIDs whilst a lower prevalence of other previously dominant HIV-1 genotypes [subtype B' (11%) and CRF01_AE (5%)] and CRF01_AE/B' unique recombinants (13%) were detected, indicating a significant shift in genotype replacement in this population. Three clusters of CRF01_AE/B' recombinants displaying divergent yet phylogenetically-related mosaic genomes to CRF33_01B were identified and characterized, suggestive of an abrupt emergence of multiple novel CRF clades. Using rigorous maximum likelihood approach and the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling of CRF33_01Bpol sequences to elucidate the past population dynamics, we found that the founder lineages of CRF33_01B were likely to have first emerged among PWIDs in the early 1990 s before spreading exponentially to various high and low-risk populations (including children who acquired infections from their mothers) and later on became endemic around the early 2000 s. Taken together, our findings provide notable genetic evidence indicating the widespread expansion of CRF33_01B among PWIDs and into the general population. The emergence of numerous previously unknown recombinant clades highlights the escalating genetic complexity of HIV-1 in the Southeast Asian region.
    Matched MeSH terms: HIV-1/genetics*
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