alexa HIV type 1 V3 serotyping of Tanzanian samples: probable reasons for mismatching with genetic subtyping.
Neurology

Neurology

Journal of Neuroinfectious Diseases

Author(s): Hoelscher M, Hanker S, Barin F, CheingsongPopov R, Dietrich U,

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Abstract HIV-1 V3 serotyping is used to classify immunodeficiency viruses on the basis of antibody binding to V3 peptides derived from env genetic subtypes. Although it shows a reasonable overlap, it has been reported to be distinct from viral genetic subtypes. The aim of this study is to determine the feasibility of HIV-1 serotyping to predict genetic subtypes in an East African setting, where multiple HIV-1 subtypes have coexisted for many years. HIV-1 genetic subtypes of 86 AIDS patients in Mbeya Town, southwest Tanzania, were determined, using env nucleic acid sequencing as the basis for comparison. Those data were compared with V3 serotyping results obtained by four different methodologies. Four HIV-1 genetic subtypes were identified, including A (25, 29\%), C (47, 55\%), D (13, 15\%), and G (1, 1\%). The sensitivity and specificity of those serotyping assays varied considerably: sensitivity for genetic subtype A (40-48\%), C (52-96\%), and D (9-31\%); and specificity for genetic subtype A (77-95\%), C (46-63\%), and D (97-100\%). We further tried to identify reasons for the discrepancies between serotyping results and genetic subtypes. By means of logistic regression analysis three amino acid residues within the V3 loop (positions 12, 13, and 19; V, H, and A for serotype A, I, R, and T for serotype C) were found to be most important for antibody binding; a deviation from the subtype-specific amino acids was highly related to mismatched results. In addition, we have shown that phenetic analysis of V3 amino acid sequence data could be used to predict the majority of V3 serotypes (93-94\%). Our data demonstrated that for the majority of specimens HIV-1 V3 serotyping results closely match the subtype of the analyzed sample as revealed by the V3 loop amino acid sequence. However, our data demonstrate that HIV-1 serotyping is not sufficiently accurate to predict genetic subtypes in Tanzania, where subtypes A, C, D, and G are circulating. This was due to highly similar amino acid sequences throughout the prevalent genetic subtypes, which caused the inability of HIV-1 V3 serotyping to differentiate subtype A from C as well as D from C. Instead, the serotyping results reflect the frequency distribution of V3 serotypes. To investigate HIV-1 genetic subtypes in population-based studies in this African setting additional or modified algorithms are needed. PIP:
This article was published in AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses and referenced in Journal of Neuroinfectious Diseases

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