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Deep sequencing of near full-length HIV-1 genomes from plasma identifies circulating subtype C and infrequent occurrence of AC recombinant form in Southern India

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Shuba Varshini Alampalli, Michael M. Thomson, Raghavan Sampathkumar, Karthi Sivaraman, Anto Jesuraj U. K. J., Chirag Dhar, George D. Souza, Neil Berry, Annapurna Vyakarnam, William A. Paxton (Editor)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0188603
Number of pages14
JournalPL o S One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2017


King's Authors


India has the third largest number of HIV-1-infected individuals accounting for approximately 2.1 million people, with a predominance of circulating subtype C strains and a low prevalence of subtype A and A1C and BC recombinant forms, identified over the past two decades. Recovery of near full-length HIV-1 genomes from a plasma source coupled with advances in next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and development of universal methods for amplifying whole genomes of HIV-1 circulating in a target geography or population provides the opportunity for a detailed analysis of HIV-1 strain identification, evolution and dynamics. Here we describe the development and implementation of approaches for HIV-1 NGS analysis in a southern Indian cohort. Plasma samples (n = 20) were obtained from HIV-1-confirmed individuals living in and around the city of Bengaluru. Near full-length genome recovery was obtained for 9 Indian HIV-1 patients, with recovery of full-length gag and env genes for 10 and 2 additional subjects, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses indicate the majority of sequences to be represented by subtype C viruses branching within a monophyletic clade, comprising viruses from India, Nepal, Myanmar and China and closely related to a southern African cluster, with a low prevalence of the A1C recombinant form also present. Development of algorithms for bespoke recovery and analysis at a local level will further aid clinical management of HIV-1 infected Indian subjects and delineate the progress of the HIV-1 pandemic in this and other geographical regions.

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