We investigated the molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 subtypes in Malaysia among injecting drug users (IDUs) and sexual transmission risk groups, using serologic and genetic techniques Frozen sera collected at a general hospital, a blood bank, several drug treatment centers, and an STD clinic in Kuala Lumpur, between 1992 and 1996, were investigated retrospectively. V3 peptide serotyping and monomeric gp120 capture serotyping were used to study 89 known HIV-l-infected subjects. The methods differentiate subtypes B, E, and C. V3 peptide and gp120 capture results were comparable. No subtype C-specific reactive sera were found; one specimen was dually reactive for subtypes C and B, using the V3 peptide ELISA; and four were dually reactive for subtypes E and C using this assay. Genotypic analysis of HIV-1 gag RNA in serum was done on a subset of subjects and confirmed serologic findings. HIV-1 subtypes differed significantly by risk category: of 53 IDUs, 29 (55%) were infected with subtype B and 19 (36%) were infected with subtype E, 3 (6%) were dually reactive, and 2 (4%) were not typable. Of 36 persons with heterosexual risks, 29 (81%) were infected with subtype E, 5 (14%) were infected with subtype B, and 2 (5%) were not typable. Persons with IDU risks were significantly more likely to be infected with subtype B than were those with sexual risks (OR 5.89; 95% CI, 1.94-18.54; p < 0.001). Subtypes B and E of HIV-1 appear to predominate in Malaysia; subtype B was more prevalent among IDUs; subtype E was more prevalent among all other groups. These results may have important HIV-1 vaccine implications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases