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Evaluation of HIV Transmission Clusters among Natives and Foreigners Living in Italy.


ABSTRACT: We aimed at evaluating the characteristics of HIV-1 molecular transmission clusters (MTCs) among natives and migrants living in Italy, diagnosed between 1998 and 2018. Phylogenetic analyses were performed on HIV-1 polymerase (pol) sequences to characterise subtypes and identify MTCs, divided into small (SMTCs, 2-3 sequences), medium (MMTCs, 4-9 sequences) and large (LMTCs, ?10 sequences). Among 3499 drug-naïve individuals enrolled in the Italian Cohort Naive Antiretroviral (ICONA) cohort (2804 natives; 695 migrants), 726 (20.8%; 644 natives, 82 migrants) were involved in 228 MTCs (6 LMTCs, 36 MMTCs, 186 SMTCs). Migrants contributed 14.4% to SMTCs, 7.6% to MMTCs and 7.1% to LMTCs, respectively. HIV-1 non-B subtypes were found in 51 MTCs; noteworthy was that non-B infections involved in MTCs were more commonly found in natives (n = 47) than in migrants (n = 4). Factors such as Italian origin, being men who have sex with men (MSM), younger age, more recent diagnosis and a higher CD4 count were significantly associated with MTCs. Our findings show that HIV-1 clustering transmission among newly diagnosed individuals living in Italy is prevalently driven by natives, mainly MSM, with a more recent diagnosis and frequently infected with HIV-1 non-B subtypes. These results can contribute to monitoring of the HIV epidemic and guiding the public health response to prevent new HIV infections.

SUBMITTER: Fabeni L 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7472346 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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