Japanese journal of infectious diseases 2016 06 3070(2) 136-142 doi 10.7883/yoken.JJID.2015.504
In Japan, the number of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infections remains relatively low; nevertheless, the annual incidence of HIV-1 infection has not decreased. New infections remain a great concern, and an improved understanding of epidemiological trends is critical for public health. The env C2V3 and pol sequences of HIV-1 RNA from 240 early (1996-2001) and 223 more recent (2010-2012) blood donations were used to compare the distribution of virus subtypes and to generate phylogenetic trees. Subtype B was clearly predominant in both early and more recent donations (both were 88.3%), and CRF01_AE was the second most common subtype. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a peculiar epidemiological transition. Compared to early subtype B isolates from 2 major endemic areas (Tokyo and Osaka), the more recent subtype B isolates formed fewer tight clusters in phylogenetic trees (from 8 to 2 clusters in Tokyo and 5 to zero clusters in Osaka). Furthermore, mixing of HIV-1 infections between these 2 endemic areas appear to increase. Analysis of phylogenetic trees suggested that local outbreaks have become smaller in Japan; however, intermixing of viral types between these 2 areas was more evident in the more recent samples.