Molecular epidemiology of HIV Type 1 in a rural community in southwest Uganda
The molecular epidemiology of a population-based cohort in a cluster of 15 villages in southwestern Uganda was investigated by sequencing part of the p24 gag gene and performing heteroduplex mobility assays (HMAs) of the V3 region of the env gene. Sequence and HMA data, obtained for 69 and 88 proviruses, respectively, showed that the clade A and D viruses were present at a ratio of about 0.67:1. No other clades were detected. Thirteen (22%) of 59 proviruses for which both gag and env data were obtained appeared to be recombinants. Although both clade A and D viruses were present in 13 of the villages, their distribution was unequal: for example, from env data 59% of clade A viruses were found in the eastern villages, compared with only 27% of clade D viruses. Phylogenetic (maximum likelihood) analysis of the p24 gag sequences showed a total of five clusters supported by bootstrap resampling values above or close to 75%. Four clusters were sexual partners, but there was no known sexual contact between the persons in the other cluster. The DNA sequences showed between 0.5 and 8.3% divergence from the cohort clade A or D consensus sequences. The sequences were not closely related to those published for other clade A or D proviruses.