Background: The co-receptor tropism of any given HIV-1 isolate is closely associated with the progression of AIDS. Understanding the co-receptor tropism and genetic diversity of circulating HIV-1 strains is critical for AIDS treatment and vaccine development. Methods: All available China HIV-1 V3 sequences with known subtypes/circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) and transmission routes were retrieved from the Los Alamos HIV Sequence Database. HIV-1 co-receptor tropism was predicted using online tool HIV-1 PhenoPred. Results: All C/CRF07_BC/CRF08_BC strains appeared to use CCR5 for cell entry (R5 strains), while 61.1% of subtype B and 38.7% of CRF01_AE were also R5, indicating a higher prevalence of R5 (76.9%) than X4. The prevalence of R5 remained relatively stable over the different sample years regardless of C/CRF07_BC/CRF08_BC, B, or CRF01_AE subtypes. The co-receptor usage of HIV-1 appeared to be associated with the different subtypes, rather than transmission route. Furthermore, the V3 sequences of C/CRF07_BC/CRF08_BC were more genetically homogeneous relative to both subtypes B and CRF01_AE. Conclusions: The higher prevalence of R5 and higher level of homogeneity of V3 sequences in C/CRF07_BC/CRF08_BC suggest that CCR5 antagonists will be promising drugs for future AIDS treatment in China, and that circulating R5 strains are valuable candidates for AIDS vaccine development. Crown Copyright © 2009.
Zhang, C., Xu, S., Wei, J., & Guo, H. (2009). Predicted co-receptor tropism and sequence characteristics of China HIV-1 V3 loops: implications for the future usage of CCR5 antagonists and AIDS vaccine development. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 13(5). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2008.12.010