In this study, the genetic diversity of HIV-1 in Tunisia was analyzed. For this, 193 samples were collected in different regions of Tunisia between 2012 and 2015. A protease and reverse transcriptase fragment was amplified and sequenced. Phylogenetic analyses were performed via maximum likelihood and recombination was analyzed by bootscanning. Six HIV-1 subtypes (B, A1, G, D, C, and F2), five circulating recombinant forms (CRF02_AG, CRF25_cpx, CRF43_02G, CRF06_cpx and CRF19_cpx) and 11 unique recombinant forms were identified. Subtype B (46.4%) and CRF02_AG (39.4%) were the predominant genetic forms. A group of 44 CRF02_AG sequences formed a distinct Tunisian cluster, which also included four viruses from Western Europe. Nine viruses were closely related to isolates collected in other African or in European countries. In conclusion, a high HIV-1 genetic diversity is observed in Tunisia and the local spread of CRF02_AG is first documented in this country.
Genetic Diversity of HIV-1 in Tunisia.