HIV-1 molecular epidemiology in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa: origin, demography and migrations.
ABSTRACT: The HIV-1 epidemic in West Africa has been dominated by subtype A and the recombinant form CRF02_AG. Little is known about the origins and the evolutionary history of HIV-1 in this region. We employed Maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods in combination with temporal and spatial information to reconstruct the HIV-1 subtype distribution, demographic history and migration patterns over time in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. We found that CRF02_AG and subsubtype A3 were the dominant forms of HIV-1 in Guinea-Bissau and that they were introduced into the country on at least six different occasions between 1976 and 1981. These estimates also corresponded well with the first reported HIV-1 cases in Guinea-Bissau. Migration analyses suggested that (1) the HIV-1 epidemic started in the capital Bissau and then dispersed into more rural areas, and (2) the epidemic in Guinea-Bissau was connected to both Cameroon and Mali. This is the first study that describes the HIV-1 molecular epidemiology in a West African country by combining the results of subtype distribution with analyses of epidemic origin and epidemiological linkage between locations. The multiple introductions of HIV-1 into Guinea-Bissau, during a short time-period of five years, coincided with and were likely influenced by the major immigration wave into the country that followed the end of the independence war (1963-1974).
Project description:Abstract Multiple HIV-1 subtypes and circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) are known to cocirculate in Africa. In West Africa, the high prevalence of CRF02_AG, and cocirculation of subtype A, CRF01_AE, CRF06_cpx, and other complex intersubtype recombinants has been well documented. Mali, situated in the heart of West Africa, is likely to be affected by the spread of recombinant subtypes. However, the dynamics of the spread of HIV-1 recombinant subtypes as well as nonrecombinant HIV-1 group M subtypes in this area have not been systematically assessed. Herein, we undertook genetic analyses on full-length env sequences derived from HIV-1-infected individuals living in the capital city of Mali, Bamako. Of 23 samples we examined, 16 were classified as CRF02_AG and three had a subsubtype A3. Among the remaining HIV-1 strains, CRF06_cpx and CRF09_cpx were each found in two patients. Comparison of phylogenies for six matched pol and full-length env sequences revealed that two strains had discordant subtype/CRF designations between the pol and env regions: one had A3(pol)CRF02_AG(env) and the other had CRF02_AG(pol)A3(env). Taken together, our study demonstrated the high prevalence of CRF02_AG and complexity of circulating HIV-1 strains in Mali. It also provided evidence of ongoing virus evolution of CRF02_AG, as illustrated by the emergence of more complex CRF02_AG/A3 intersubtype recombinants in this area.
Project description:The West-African sooty mangabey (Cercocebus atys) is threatened by habitat loss, hunting for meat consumption, and mortality during crop-foraging events. The species' overall demographic trend is unknown. Presence and distribution in Guinea-Bissau, a country neighbored by Senegal and Republic of Guinea, was confirmed in 1946 but the species was declared extinct in 1989 and not observed in subsequent countrywide expeditions. Narratives of its presence across southern Guinea-Bissau are scattered in reports and occurrence in the eastern part was reported in 2017, but the limits of its distribution are currently unknown. Here, we present recent geo-referenced visual and molecular-based records of the sooty mangabey for three protected areas in southern Guinea-Bissau collected as part of a region-wide survey. Individuals were observed in Cufada Lagoons Natural Park (2015) and Dulombi National Park (NP) (2016) and photographed in Boé NP (2007, 2015 and 2020). Thirty-six samples collected in Boé NP (2017) were identified as sooty mangabey using a 402 base pair fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Our work suggests a wider distribution in Guinea-Bissau than previously described, augments knowledge of the populations' current habitat use and threats, and has implications for efforts to conserve the species in West Africa. Considering the sooty mangabey as the reservoir of the simian immunodeficiency virus that led to the human variant, HIV-2, confirmation that the Guinea-Bissau population is not extinct may lead to a better understanding of early viral jump to humans and consequent epidemic spread, specifically of the HIV-2 Subgroup A. We highlight the need for extra conservation measures by Guinea-Bissau authorities.
Project description:The global human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)epidemic is characterized by significant genetic diversity in circulating viruses. We have recently characterized a group of viruses that form a distinct sub-subtype within the subtype A radiation, which we have designated HIV type 1 (HIV-1) sub-subtype A, circulating in West Africa. A prospective study of a cohort of female sex workers (FSW) in Dakar, Senegal over an 18-year period indicated that an A3-specific sequence in the C2-V3 region of the env gene was found in 46 HIV-1-infected women. HIV-1 sub-subtype A3 appeared in the FSW population as early as 1988 and continued to be transmitted as of 2001. We also found that HIV-1 A3 is not confined to the FSW cohort in Senegal but is also circulating in the general population in Dakar. Furthermore, analyses of viral sequences from a few other West and Central African countries also demonstrated evidence of HIV-1 A3 sequence in isolates from HIV-1-infected people in Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Niger, Guinea Bissau, Benin, and Equatorial Guinea. Overall, because of the evidence of sub-subtype A3 in the general population in Senegal, as well as in a few neighboring West and Central African countries, along with the increasing incidence of infection with A3-containing viruses in the Dakar high-risk FSW population, we feel that HIV-1 sub-subtype A3 viruses are important to distinguish and monitor.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The HIV-1 epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa is heterogeneous with diverse unevenly distributed subtypes and regional differences in prevalence. Subtype-specific differences in disease progression rate and transmission efficiency have been reported, but the underlying biological mechanisms have not been fully characterized. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the subtypes prevalent in the East Africa, where adult prevalence rate is higher, have lower viral replication capacity (VRC) than their West African counterparts where adult prevalence rates are lower.<h4>Results</h4>Gag-protease sequencing was performed on 213 and 160 antiretroviral-naïve chronically infected participants from West and East Africa respectively and bioinformatic tools were used to infer subtypes and recombination patterns. VRC of patient-derived gag-protease chimeric viruses from West (n = 178) and East (n = 114) Africa were determined using a green fluorescent protein reporter-based cell assay. Subtype and regional differences in VRC and amino acid variants impacting VRC were identified by statistical methods. CRF02_AG (65%, n = 139), other recombinants (14%, n = 30) and pure subtypes (21%, n = 44) were identified in West Africa. Subtypes A1 (64%, n = 103), D (22%, n = 35), or recombinants (14%, n = 22) were identified in East Africa. Viruses from West Africa had significantly higher VRC compared to those from East Africa (p < 0.0001), with subtype-specific differences found among strains within West and East Africa (p < 0.0001). Recombination patterns showed a preference for subtypes D, G or J rather than subtype A in the p6 region of gag, with evidence that subtype-specific differences in this region impact VRC. Furthermore, the Gag A83V polymorphism was associated with reduced VRC in CRF02_AG. HLA-A*23:01 (p = 0.0014) and HLA-C*07:01 (p = 0.002) were associated with lower VRC in subtype A infected individuals from East Africa.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Although prevalent viruses from West Africa displayed higher VRC than those from East Africa consistent with the hypothesis that lower VRC is associated with higher population prevalence, the predominant CRF02_AG strain in West Africa displayed higher VRC than other prevalent strains suggesting that VRC alone does not explain population prevalence. The study identified viral and host genetic determinants of virus replication capacity for HIV-1 CRF02_AG and subtype A respectively, which may have relevance for vaccine strategies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:HIV-1 is one of the fastest evolving pathogens, and is distinguished by geographic and genetic variants that have been classified into different subtypes and circulating recombinant forms (CRFs). Early in infection the primary coreceptor is CCR5, but during disease course CXCR4-using HIV-1 populations may emerge. This has been correlated with accelerated disease progression in HIV-1 subtype B. Basic knowledge of HIV-1 coreceptor tropism is important due to the recent introduction of coreceptor antagonists in antiretroviral therapy, and subtype-specific differences regarding how frequently HIV-1 CXCR4-using populations appear in late-stage disease need to be further investigated. To study how frequently CXCR4-using populations appear in late-stage disease among HIV-1 subtype A and CRF02_AG, we evaluated the accuracy of a recombinant virus phenotypic assay for these subtypes, and used it to determine the HIV-1 coreceptor tropism of plasma samples collected during late-stage disease in Guinea-Bissau. We also performed a genotypic analysis and investigated subtype-specific differences in the appearance of CXCR4 tropism late in disease. RESULTS:We found that the recombinant virus phenotypic assay accurately predicted HIV-1 coreceptor tropism of subtype A and CRF02_AG. Over the study period (1997-2007), we found an increasing and generally high frequency of CXCR4 tropism (86%) in CRF02_AG. By sequence analysis of the V3 region of our samples we developed a novel genotypic rule for predicting CXCR4 tropism in CRF02_AG, based on the combined criteria of the total number of charged amino acids and net charge. This rule had higher sensitivity than previously described genotypic rules and may be useful for development of future genotypic tools for this CRF. Finally, we conducted a literature analysis, combining data of 498 individuals in late-stage disease, and found high amounts of CXCR4 tropism for all major HIV-1 subtypes (60-77%), except for subtype C (15%). CONCLUSIONS:The increase in CXCR4 tropism over time suggests an evolving epidemic of CRF02_AG. The results of the literature analysis demonstrate the need for further studies investigating subtype-specific emergence for CXCR4-tropism; this may be particularly important due to the introduction of CCR5-antagonists in HIV treatment regimens.
Project description:BACKGROUND:With increased access to antiretroviral treatment (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa emergence of HIV-1 pretreatment drug resistance constitutes a serious risk. This may lead to rapid virological failure in subjects initiating ART, and mother-to-child transmission despite prophylaxis. METHODS:Treatment-naïve pregnant women from four antenatal care clinics in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, were enrolled from October 2016 to November 2017. Genotypic resistance testing and phylogenetic subtype analysis was performed on 48 specimens. RESULTS:Forty eight women met the survey inclusion criteria. All specimens were successfully amplified and genotyped. Specimens from five women were associated with HIV-1 drug resistance mutations. Four carried mutations exclusively linked to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) (K103N, K103N/S) and one carried mutations to both NNRTIs (G190S, K101E) and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) (M184V). These results corresponded to 10.4% (95% CI: 4.5-22.2%), 2.1% (95% CI: 0.4-10.9%) and 0% (95% CI: 0.0-7.4%) drug resistance mutations to NNRTIs, NRTIs and protease inhibitors, respectively. HIV-1 circulating recombinant form 02AG was most commonly found, followed by HIV-1 sub-subtype A3. Subtype/CRF was not associated with drug resistance mutations. CONCLUSION:Our study reports a 10.4% prevalence of pretreatment drug resistance to NNRTIs in HIV-1-infected pregnant women in the capital Bissau, Guinea Bissau. Since NNRTIs are part of first-line ART in the country, baseline resistance screenings or adjustment of national treatment guidelines should be considered as antiretroviral treatment programs are scaled up.
Project description:This dataset presents an annotated list of medicinal plants used by local communities in Guinea-Bissau (West Africa), in a total of 218 species. Data was gathered by means of herbarium and bibliographic research, as well as fieldwork. Biological and ecological information is provided for each species, including in-country distribution, geographical range, growth form and main vegetation types. The dataset was used to prepare a paper on the medicinal plants of Guinea-Bissau "Medicinal plants of Guinea-Bissau: therapeutic applications, ethnic diversity and knowledge transfer" (Catarino et al., 2016) . The table and figures provide a unique database for Guinea-Bissau in support of ethno-medical and ethno-pharmacological research, and their ecological dimensions.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2) emerged in West Africa and has spread further to countries that share socio-historical ties with this region. However, viral origins and dispersal patterns at a global scale remain poorly understood. Here, we adopt a Bayesian phylogeographic approach to investigate the spatial dynamics of HIV-2 group A (HIV-2A) using a collection of 320 partial pol and 248 partial env sequences sampled throughout 19 countries worldwide. We extend phylogenetic diffusion models that simultaneously draw information from multiple loci to estimate location states throughout distinct phylogenies and explicitly attempt to incorporate human migratory fluxes. Our study highlights that Guinea-Bissau, together with Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal, have acted as the main viral sources in the early stages of the epidemic. We show that convenience sampling can obfuscate the estimation of the spatial root of HIV-2A. We explicitly attempt to circumvent this by incorporating rate priors that reflect the ratio of human flow from and to West Africa. We recover four main routes of HIV-2A dispersal that are laid out along colonial ties: Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde to Portugal, Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal to France. Within Europe, we find strong support for epidemiological linkage from Portugal to Luxembourg and to the UK. We demonstrate that probabilistic models can uncover global patterns of HIV-2A dispersal providing sampling bias is taken into account and we provide a scenario for the international spread of this virus.
Project description:BACKGROUND: CRF02_AG is the predominant HIV strain circulating in West and West Central Africa. The aim of this study was to test whether this predominance is associated with a higher in vitro replicative fitness relative to parental subtype A and G viruses. Primary HIV-1 isolates (10 CRF02_AG, 5 subtype A and 5 subtype G) were obtained from a well-described Cameroonian cohort. Growth competition experiments were carried out at equal multiplicity of infection in activated T cells and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MO-DC) in parallel. RESULTS: Dual infection/competition experiments in activated T cells clearly indicated that CRF02_AG isolates had a significant replication advantage over the subtype A and subtype G viruses. The higher fitness of CRF02_AG was evident for isolates from patients with CD4+ T cell counts >200 cells/microL (non-AIDS) or CD4+ T cell counts <200 cells/microL (AIDS), and was independent of the co-receptor tropism. In MO-DC cultures, CRF02_AG isolates showed a slightly but not significantly higher replication advantage compared to subtype A or G isolates. CONCLUSION: We observed a higher ex vivo replicative fitness of CRF02_AG isolates compared to subtype A and G viruses from the same geographic region and showed that this was independent of the co-receptor tropism and irrespective of high or low CD4+ T cell count. This advantage in replicative fitness may contribute to the dominant spread of CRF02_AG over A and G subtypes in West and West Central Africa.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The HIV epidemic is increasing in Equatorial Guinea (GQ), West Central Africa, but few studies have reported its HIV molecular epidemiology. We aimed to describe the HIV-1 group M (HIV-1M) variants and drug-resistance mutations in GQ using sequences sampled in this country and in Spain, a frequent destination of Equatoguinean migrants.<h4>Methods</h4>We collected 195 HIV-1M pol sequences from Equatoguinean subjects attending Spanish clinics during 1997-2011, and 83 additional sequences sampled in GQ in 1997 and 2008 from GenBank. All (n?=?278) were re-classified using phylogeny and tested for drug-resistance mutations. To evaluate the origin of CRF02_AG in GQ, we analyzed 2,562 CRF02_AG sequences and applied Bayesian MCMC inference (BEAST program).<h4>Results</h4>Most Equatoguinean patients recruited in Spain were women (61.1%) or heterosexuals (87.7%). In the 278 sequences, the variants found were CRF02_AG (47.8%), A (13.7%), B (7.2%), C (5.8%), G (5.4%) and others (20.1%). We found 6 CRF02_AG clusters emerged from 1983.9 to 2002.5 with origin in GQ (5.5 sequences/cluster). Transmitted drug-resistance (TDR) rate among naïve patients attended in Spain (n?=?144) was 4.7%: 3.4% for PI (all with M46IL), 1.8% for NRTI (all with M184V) and 0.9% for NNRTI (Y188L). Among pre-treated patients, 9/31 (29%) presented any resistance, mainly affecting NNRTI (27.8%).<h4>Conclusions</h4>We report a low (<5%) TDR rate among naïve, with PI as the most affected class. Pre-treated patients also showed a low drug-resistance prevalence (29%) maybe related to the insufficient treatment coverage in GQ. CRF02_AG was the prevalent HIV-1M variant and entered GQ through independent introductions at least since the early 1980s.