Increasing Frequency and Transmission of HIV-1 Non-B Subtypes among Men Who Have Sex with Men in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study
Journal Paper/Review - Jul 14, 2021
Duran Ramirez Jessy J, Kouyos Roger D, Günthard Huldrych F, Bernasconi Enos, Vernazza Pietro, Furrer Hansjakob, Stöckle Marcel, Cavassini Matthias, Yerly Sabine, Ramette Alban, Perreau Matthieu, Hirsch Hans H, Huber Michael, Chaudron Sandra E, Kusejko Katharina, Nguyen Huyen, Ballouz Tala, Swiss HIV Cohort Study
In Switzerland, HIV-1 transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) has been dominated by subtype B, whilst non-B subtypes are commonly attributed to infections acquired abroad among heterosexuals. Here, we evaluated the temporal trends of non-B subtypes and the characteristics of molecular transmission clusters (MTCs) among MSM.
Sociodemographic and clinical data and partial pol sequences were obtained from participants enrolled in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS). For non-B subtypes, maximum likelihood trees were constructed, from which Swiss MTCs were identified and analysed by transmission group.
Non-B subtypes were identified in 8.1% (416/5,116) of MSM participants. CRF01_AE was the most prevalent strain (3.5%), followed by A (1.2%), F (1.1%), CRF02_AG (1.1%), C (0.9%), and G (0.3%). Between 1990 and 2019, an increase in the proportion of newly diagnosed individuals (0/123[0%] to 11/32 [34%]) with non-B subtypes in MSM was found. Across all non-B subtypes, the majority of MSM MTCs were European. Larger MTCs were observed for MSM than heterosexuals.
We found a substantial increase in HIV-1 non-B subtypes among MSM in Switzerland and the occurrence of large MTCs, highlighting the importance of molecular surveillance in guiding public health strategies targeting the HIV-1 epidemic.