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von Wyl, V; Kouyos, R D; Yerly, S; Böni, J; Shah, C; Bürgisser, P; Klimkait, T; Weber, R; Hirschel, B; Cavassini, M; Staehelin, C; Battegay, M; Vernazza, P L; Bernasconi, E; Ledergerber, B; Bonhoeffer, S; Günthard, H F (2011). The role of migration and domestic transmission in the spread of HIV-1 non-B subtypes in Switzerland. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 204(7):1095-1103.

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By analyzing human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) pol sequences from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS), we explored whether the prevalence of non-B subtypes reflects domestic transmission or migration patterns.

Swiss non-B sequences and sequences collected abroad were pooled to construct maximum likelihood trees, which were analyzed for Swiss-specific subepidemics, (subtrees including ≥80% Swiss sequences, bootstrap >70%; macroscale analysis) or evidence for domestic transmission (sequence pairs with genetic distance <1.5%, bootstrap ≥98%; microscale analysis).

Of 8287 SHCS participants, 1732 (21%) were infected with non-B subtypes, of which A (n = 328), C (n = 272), CRF01_AE (n = 258), and CRF02_AG (n = 285) were studied further. The macroscale analysis revealed that 21% (A), 16% (C), 24% (CRF01_AE), and 28% (CRF02_AG) belonged to Swiss-specific subepidemics. The microscale analysis identified 26 possible transmission pairs: 3 (12%) including only homosexual Swiss men of white ethnicity; 3 (12%) including homosexual white men from Switzerland and partners from foreign countries; and 10 (38%) involving heterosexual white Swiss men and females of different nationality and predominantly nonwhite ethnicity.

Of all non-B infections diagnosed in Switzerland, <25% could be prevented by domestic interventions. Awareness should be raised among immigrants and Swiss individuals with partners from high prevalence countries to contain the spread of non-B subtypes.


30 citations in Web of Science®
29 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Virology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Infectious Diseases
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:12 Jan 2012 21:52
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:21
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
Publisher DOI:10.1093/infdis/jir491
PubMed ID:21881125

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