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To gain deeper insight into the epidemiology of HIV-1 transmission in South-East Austria we performed a retrospective analysis of 259 HIV-1 partial pol sequences obtained from unique individuals newly diagnosed with HIV infection in South-East Austria from 2008 through 2014. After quality filtering, putative transmission linkages were inferred when two sequences were ≤1.5% genetically different. Multiple linkages were resolved into putative transmission clusters. Further phylogenetic analyses were performed using BEAST v1.8.1. Finally, we investigated putative links between the 259 sequences from South-East Austria and all publicly available HIV polymerase sequences in the Los Alamos National Laboratory HIV sequence database. We found that 45.6% 118-259 of the sampled sequences were genetically linked with at least one other sequence from South-East Austria forming putative transmission clusters. Clustering individuals were more likely to be men who have sex with men MSM; p<0.001, infected with subtype B p<0.001 or subtype F p = 0.02. Among clustered males who reported only heterosexual HSX sex as an HIV risk, 47% clustered closely with MSM either as pairs or within larger MSM clusters. One hundred and seven of the 259 sequences 41.3% from South-East Austria had at least one putative inferred linkage with sequences from a total of 69 other countries. In conclusion, analysis of HIV-1 sequences from newly diagnosed individuals residing in South-East Austria revealed a high degree of national and international clustering mainly within MSM. Interestingly, we found that a high number of heterosexual males clustered within MSM networks, suggesting either linkage between risk groups or misrepresentation of sexual risk behaviors by subjects.



Author: Martin Hoenigl , Antoine Chaillon , Harald H. Kessler , Bernhard Haas, Evelyn Stelzl, Karin Weninger, Susan J. Little, Sanjay R.

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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