The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic variation of HIV-1 CRF07_BC, the most prevalent circulating strain in intravenous drug users (IDUs) in China. We studied the diversity in the C2-V5 region of the HIV-1 env gene and in the p17–p24 region of the HIV-1 gag gene from the same samples in 12 IDUs who were divided into two groups according to the length of infection time. Two IDUs were longitudinally monitored from the time of seroconversion for 2–2.5 years. The viral divergence from the founder strain and the viral population diversity between sequential time points were analyzed in two men. The data show that the divergence of the env gene is higher than that of gag in general, while the diversity of the gag gene is sometimes higher than that of env during the course of HIV evolution. In addition, env and gag gene diversity increased over time. The observed patterns and associations may enhance our understanding of HIV-1 evolution.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 2008
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