Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials
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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a lenti virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition
in humans in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to life-threatening opportunistic infections. The RNA genome
of HIV consists of nine genes (gag, pol, and env, tat, rev, nef, vif, vpr, vpu, and tev) encoding 19 proteins. The HIV-1 protease
enzyme is responsible for the post-translational processing of the viral Gag and Gag-Pol polyproteins to yield the structural
proteins and enzymes of the virus. With its integral role in HIV replication, HIV-PR has been a prime target for drug therapy.
However, mutations associated with protease-inhibitor?s resistance have been reported at more than 20 different residues of the
Methods: In this experiment, HIV-1 DNA in 12 infants (of HIV-positive mother?s) dried blood spot (DBS) or whole blood sample
(WBS) was first detected and the DNA containing the provirus from the positive samples was extracted and nested PCR was done
to extract the first 400bp of pol region (p16) of HIV-1 genome which encodes for protease. The samples were then purified and
sequenced by the Sanger?s method. Bioinformatics tools were used to analyze the sequenced samples.
Results: BLAST search revealed that our isolates belonged to HIV-1 pol gene (protease region). There existed a close resemblance
among the viral strains. Of the 12 sequences, 13 established drug resistance and 13 additional mutations were found. Only a
few non-polymorphic mutations were found and most mutations were polymorphic. Few important drug resistant mutations
included K 20 R/M/I, M 36 I/V, L 63 P/A/Q/S/H/C/T/I and I 93 L.
Miss Nidhi Raina did her Bachelor?s in Life Sciences from University of Delhi, India and her Masters in Biosciences by the age of 24 years from Jamia
Milia Islamia, Delhi, India. She is currently preparing for her Ph.D. in Biosciences. She did her Master?s dissertation (6-months) on ?Effect of arsenic
stress on wheat seedlings and ability of cyanobacteria to act as biofertilizer? at Jamia Milia Islamia. She also did a 6-month project on ?Genomic
analysis of part of drug resistant Pol gene in HIV positive infants from Northern part of India? at National Centre for Disease Control, New Delhi, India.
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