Viruses 2017 02 159(2) pii 10.3390/v9020028
Human Pegivirus-1 (HPgV-1) may have a beneficial impact on disease progression in human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection. However, analysis of the genotypic diversity of HPgV-1 and its relevance to the progression of HIV-1 disease remains limited. A total of 1062 HIV-1-infected individuals were recruited in all sixteen prefectures of Yunnan province, China. The reverse transcription nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-nPCR), phylogenetic analyses, and clinical data analyses were used to detect HPgV-1 infection, determine genotype, and analyze HPgV-1 genotype impact on HIV-1 disease progression. The overall positive rate of HPgV-1 RNA was 23.4% (248/1062), and the frequency of HPgV-1 infection in injecting drug users (IDUs) (28.5%, 131/460) was significantly higher than in heterosexuals (19.4%, 117/602). Multiple genotypes were identified in 212 subjects with successful sequencing for the E2 gene, including genotype 7 (55.7%), genotype 3 (34.9%), genotype 4 (4.7%), genotype 2 (3.3%), and an unclassified group (1.4%). Moreover, genotype 7 predominated in IDUs, whereas genotype 3 was the most common in heterosexuals. Our results revealed that HPgV-1 genotype 7 groups exhibited significantly lower HIV-1 viral load and higher CD4⁺ cell counts. This finding suggests that HPgV-1 genotype 7 may be associated with a better progression of HIV-1 disease.