Mullins Molecular Retrovirology Lab

  • Department of Microbiology
  • School of Medicine
  • University of Washington
University of Washington/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research

Citation Information

Gottlieb GS, Sow PS, Hawes SE, Ndoye I, Coll-Seck AM, Curlin ME, Critchlow CW, Kiviat NB, Mullins JI (2003). Molecular epidemiology of dual HIV-1/HIV-2 seropositive adults from Senegal, West Africa. AIDS research and human retroviruses, 19(7), 575-84. (pubmed)


Dual infection with HIV-1 and HIV-2 can occur in locales where these viruses co-circulate, most commonly in West Africa. Although dual seropositivity is common in this region, the true rate of dual infection remains unclear. In addition, whether unique HIV-1 subtypes are circulating in dually infected individuals is unknown. A cohort of 47 HIV-1 and HIV-2 dually seropositive individuals from Senegal, West Africa was screened for the presence of HIV-1 and HIV-2 gag and env PBMC viral DNA sequences using PCR. Of the 47 dual HIV-1/HIV-2 seropositive individuals tested, 19 (40.4%) had infection with both HIV-1 and HIV-2 confirmed by genetic sequence analysis, whereas only HIV-1 or HIV-2 was confirmed in 17 (36.2%) or 9 (19.1%), respectively. The majority of HIV-1 subtypes found were CRF-02 and A, although subtypes D, C, G, J and B were also found, reflecting the subtypes known to be circulating in Senegal. There was no significant difference in HIV-1 subtype distribution between individuals with confirmed dual infection and patients in this study with dual seropositivity but lacking HIV-2, or with HIV-1 infected patients within the general population in Senegal, although the study was underpowered to detect anything but large differences. The prevalence of HIV-1/HIV-2 dual infection appears to be significantly less than that of dually seropositive individuals and this likely reflects cross-reactive serology. The common HIV-1 subtypes prevalent in West Africa (CRF-02 and subtype A) have a similar distribution to those found in our cohort of dually infected and dually seropositive subjects.