PloS one 2018 04 0613(4) e0195679 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0195679
HIV-1 dual infection is a condition that results from infection with at least two HIV-1 variants from different sources. The scarceness of information on this condition is partly due to the fact that its detection is technically challenging. Using next-generation sequencing we defined the extent of HIV-1 dual infection in a cohort of men who have sex with men (MSM).
MATERIAL & METHODS
Eighty-six MSM, diagnosed with HIV-1 subtype B infection between 2008 and 2013 were selected for next-generation sequencing of the HIV-1 envelope V3. Sequencing was performed on 2 plasma samples collected with an interval of > 6 months before the initiation of antiretroviral therapy. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees were inspected for dual infection, defined as the presence of two or more monophyletic clusters with ≥ 90% bootstrap support and a mean between-cluster genetic distance of ≥ 10%. To confirm dual infection, deep V3 sequencing of intermediate samples was performed as well as clonal sequencing of the HIV-1 protease-reverse transcriptase gene.
Five of the 74 patients (6.8%) for whom deep sequencing was successful, showed clear evidence of dual infection. In 4 of them, the second strain was absent in the first sample but occurred in subsequent samples. This was highly suggestive for superinfection. In 3 patients both virus variants were of subtype B, in 2 patients at least one of the variants was a subtype B/non-B recombinant virus.
Dual infection was confirmed in 6.8% of MSM diagnosed with HIV-1 in Belgium. This prevalence is probably an underestimation, because stringent criteria were used to classify viral variants as originating from a new infection event.