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Revista médica de Chile

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PEREZ C, Carlos et al. Molecular epidemiology of the human immunodeficiency virus tipe 1 in Santiago, Chile. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 1999, vol.127, n.11, pp.1294-1304. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Most of the studies of HIV-1 infection in South America have been limited to Brazil and little is known about the viral variants that are causing disease elsewhere in the continent. Aim: To determine the characteristics of the viral variants present in Chile as well as patterns of viral transmission. Material and methods: Viral sequences were obtained from 21 HIV-1 infected people from Santiago, Chile who were infected either via sexual contact or intravenous drug use. Cloned sequences obtained from both the third variable and conserved regions of the envelope as well as the viral protease were evaluated. Results: We found only clade B subtype viruses in Santiago. An evaluation of the envelope gene revealed no evidence that the sequences were monophyletic by risk group. A number of the protease sequences were predicted to encode amino acid substitutions commonly found during selection for protease inhibitor resistance. Conclusions: The HIV-1 strains studied in Chile, belong to the subtype B. There is no molecular evidence of separate introductions of the virus into the different risk groups. A number of substitutions in the protease gene that may confer resistance to protease inhibitors were found in patients with no previous exposure to this class of drugs.

Keywords : Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; AIDS serodiagnosis; HIV-1; Virology.

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