PloS one 2017 04 1212(4) e0175770 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0175770
Here, we report the genetic diversity of HIV-1 and emergence of novel HIV-1 unique recombinant forms (URF) in both HIV-infected intravenous drug users (IDU) and men who have sex with men (MSM) in Guangzhou, China. We further characterized a novel URF strain isolated from an HIV-infected MSM, GD698. Near full-length genome (NFLG) phylogenic analysis showed that this novel URF was composed of CRF07_BC and CRF55_01B, with two recombinant breakpoints (nt 6,003 and 8,251 relative to the HXB2 genome) in the vpu/env and env genes, respectively. Twenty six percent of the genome is classified as CRF55_01B, spanning part of vpu and most of the env gene. The remaining 74% of the genome is classified as CRF07_BC. Both the backbone CRF07_BC sequence and CRF55_01B fragment were clustered with the HIV-1 isolates found in MSM. The emergence of the novel HIV-1 recombinant indicates the ongoing recombinants derived from the CRF07_BC and CRF55_01B isolates, and provides critical insights into our understanding of the dynamics and complexity of the HIV-1 epidemic in China.