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V3 sequence analysis and biological characterization of HIV-1 isolates from asymptomatic and early symptomatic Tanzanian individuals

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The aim of this study was to determine HIV-1 V3 sequences, in vitro biological characteristics and co-receptor usage of virus isolates from Tanzania. Virus was isolated from 14 of 17 samples investigated. Four of the isolates induced syncytia in MT-2 cells and used the CXCR4 co-receptor, while the remaining 10 isolates used the CCR5 co-receptor characteristic of non-MT-2 tropic viruses. One of the four MT-2 tropic isolates also used the CCR5 and CCR3 co-receptors. Proviral DNA was detected in all 14 isolates and PCR products were subjected to DNA sequencing. Unambiguous V3 amino acid sequences were obtained from 11 amplificates. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that these sequences were divergent and clustered in HIV-1 subtypes A, C or D. Sequences from the viruses that induced syncytia in MT-2 cells presented characteristic V3 phenotype-associated amino acids. Results of co-receptor analysis are in concordance with the isolate phenotype as determined by replication and induction of syncytia in MT-2 cells. The considerable diversity illustrated by a limited number of isolates from Tanzania is in accordance with reports from other regions of Africa.
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Keywords: HIV-1 subtypes; Tanzania; co-receptors; sequence diversity; virus phenotype

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway 2: Centre for Research in Virology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Gade Institute, University of Bergen,

Publication date: 2000-09-01

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