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Near Full-length Genomic Sequencing and Molecular Analysis of HIV-Infected Individuals in a Network-based Intervention (TRIP) in Athens, Greece: Evidence that Transmissions Occur More Frequently from those with High HIV-RNA

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 5 ]

Author(s):

Evangelia-Georgia Kostaki, Daniel Frampton, Dimitrios Paraskevis, Katerina Pantavou, Bridget Ferns, Jade Raffle, Paul Grant, Zisis Kozlakidis, Andria Hadjikou, Eirini Pavlitina, Leslie D. Williams, Angelos Hatzakis, Samuel R. Friedman, Eleni Nastouli and Georgios K. Nikolopoulos*   Pages 345 - 353 ( 9 )

Abstract:


Background: TRIP (Transmission Reduction Intervention Project) was a network-based, contact tracing approach to locate and link to care, mostly people who inject drugs (PWID) with recent HIV infection.

Objective: We investigated whether sequences from HIV-infected participants with high viral load cluster together more frequently than what is expected by chance.

Methods: Paired end reads were generated for 104 samples using Illumina MiSeq next-generation sequencing.

Results: 63 sequences belonged to previously identified local transmission networks of PWID (LTNs) of an HIV outbreak in Athens, Greece. For two HIV-RNA cut-offs (105 and 106 IU/mL), HIV transmissions were more likely between PWID with similar levels of HIV-RNA (p<0.001). 10 of the 14 sequences (71.4%) from PWID with HIV-RNA >106 IU/mL were clustered in 5 pairs. For 4 of these clusters (80%), there was in each one of them at least one sequence from a recently HIVinfected PWID.

Conclusion: We showed that transmissions are more likely among PWID with high viremia.

Keywords:

HIV, recent infection, HIV transmission, PWID, HIV-RNA, TRIP.

Affiliation:

Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Department of Infection and Immunity, UCL, London, Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Medical School, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, UCLH/UCL, London, Department of Infection and Immunity, UCL, London, Department of Clinical Virology, UCLH, London, Division of Infection and Immunity, Faculty of Medical Sciences, UCL and Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research, London, Medical School, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Transmission Reduction Intervention Project, Athens site, Athens, National Development and Research Institutes, New York, Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, National Development and Research Institutes, New York, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, UCLH/UCL, London, Medical School, University of Cyprus, Nicosia

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