Background While HIV-1 CRF01_AE has caused a large epidemic in Mainland China, and distinct lineages related to transmission among various high-risk populations have been identified, whether its transmissions have dispersal outside remains poorly understood. We aimed to characterize and quantify the genetic relationship of HIV-1 CRF01_AEs circulating in Mainland China and in other countries globally.
Methods Phylogenetic and molecular clock analyses were carried out for all available CRF01_AE pol sequences deposited in two databases (the Los Alamos HIV sequence database and the UK HIV Drug Resistance Database) to characterize the possible linkages between CRF01_AE variants in Mainland China and the rest of the world.
Results We found that all five major lineages associated with the transmission in Mainland China were detected in the rest of the world, as following the Vietnam (n=228), Kingdom (n=48), Japan (n=18), Hong Kong (n=6), Czech Republic (n=4), Thailand (n=3), Australia (n=1), Russia (n=1), Sweden (n=1) and Malaysia (n=1). Therein, 84% sequences mixed among CN.01AE.HST/IDU-2, most of which were sampled before 2010 and born in Southeast Asia. 14% sequences clustered with CN.01AE.MSM-4 and -5. A distinct sub-cluster with small divergence that consisted of 15 Japanese variants was formed inside CN.01AE.MSM-4 and the tMRCA of CN.01AE.MSM-4 and the latter sub-cluster were around 1996 and 2006. For other four major lineages, we have not found any significant transmission cluster structure for specific geographical regions.
Conclusion This results demonstrated the Chinese CRF01_AE variants have disseminated to other countries but have not scaled, and the immigrant modes of CRF01_AE variants from Asia to global has changed. Our study provided the evidences of regional and global dissemination of Chinese CRF01-AE lineages and highlighted the importance of shaping the newest global landscape of HIV and the necessity to implement the effective measures to reduce global spread of HIV.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
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