Identification and characterization of a new class of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 recombinants comprised of two circulating recombinant forms, CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC, in China.
We identified a new class of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) recombinants (00CN-HH069 and 00CN-HH086) in which further recombination occurred between two established circulating recombinant forms (CRFs). These two isolates were found among 57 HIV-1 samples from a cohort of injecting drug users in eastern Yunnan Province of China. Informative-site analysis in conjunction with bootscanning plots and exploratory tree analysis revealed that these two strains were closely related mosaics comprised of CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC, which are found in China. The genotype screening based on gag-reverse transcriptase sequences of 57 samples from eastern Yunnan identified 47 CRF08_BC specimens (82.5%), 5 CRF07_BC specimens (8.8%), and 3 additional specimens with the novel recombinant structure. These new "second-generation" recombinants thus constitute a substantial proportion (5 of 57; 8.8%) of HIV-1 strains in this population and may belong to a new but yet-undefined class of CRF. This might be the first example of CRFs recombining with each other, leading to the evolution of second-generation inter-CRF recombinants.
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