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Increasing Frequency and Transmission of HIV-1 Non-B Subtypes among Men Who Have Sex with Men in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study

Jessy J Duran Ramirez, Tala Ballouz, Huyen Nguyen, Katharina Kusejko, Sandra E Chaudron, Michael Huber, Hans H Hirsch, Matthieu Perreau, Alban Ramette, Sabine Yerly, Matthias Cavassini, Marcel Stöckle, Hansjakob Furrer, Pietro Vernazza, Enos Bernasconi, Huldrych F Günthard, Roger D Kouyos & Swiss HIV Cohort Study

abstract

BACKGROUND
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.

METHODS
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.

RESULTS
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.

CONCLUSIONS
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.
   
citation Duran Ramirez J J, Ballouz T, Nguyen H, Kusejko K, Chaudron S E, Huber M, Hirsch H H, Perreau M, Ramette A, Yerly S, Cavassini M, Stöckle M, Furrer H, Vernazza P, Bernasconi E, Günthard H F, Kouyos R D, Swiss HIV Cohort Study . Increasing Frequency and Transmission of HIV-1 Non-B Subtypes among Men Who Have Sex with Men in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. J Infect Dis 2021;.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 14-07-2021
journal title J Infect Dis
ISSN electronic 1537-6613
PubMed 34260728
DOI 10.1093/infdis/jiab360