Global analysis of sequence diversity within HIV-1 subtypes across geographic regions.
We describe preliminary molecular characterization of HIV-1 pol from 108 consecutive HIV seropositive users of a Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) site of Porto Alegre city, the major metropolitan area in the south of Brazil. Protease and partial reverse transcriptase regions were retrotranscribed from plasma HIV-1 RNA and sequenced after direct nested PCR. Principal antiretroviral resistance mutations (ARM) were observed in 3% of the samples, two cases with K103N and one with M41L, L210W and T215Y, all in HIV-1 clade B infected men. At protease region, no principal mutations were observed, but polymorphisms at secondary codons were frequent. Contrary to other areas in the country where clade B dominates, HIV-1 clade C genomes predominated in this study (58%), clade B (32%) and clade F1 (3%). Of the genomes clustering in clade C, almost half (43%) had a small clade B segment at reverse transcriptase, forming a sub-cluster within clade C with a similar recombinant structure and carrying new amino acid signatures. Other mosaic genomes were also observed (7%). The low prevalence of resistance mutations is consistent with previous observations at this geographical location but the high frequency of HIV-1 clade C and CB mosaics seems pre-eminent and warns close monitoring.