Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 60, Issue 5, pp 598–605

Different Epidemic Potentials of the HIV-1B and C Subtypes

  • Marco Salemi
  • Tulio de  Oliveira
  • Marcelo A. Soares
  • Oliver Pybus
  • Ana T. Dumans
  • Anne-Mieke Vandamme
  • Amilcar Tanuri
  • Sharon Cassol
  • Walter M. Fitch


HIV, the cause of AIDS in humans, is characterized by great genetic heterogeneity. In particular, HIV-1 group M subtypes are responsible for most of the infections worldwide. We investigate the demographic history of HIV-1B and HIV-1C subtypes in South Africa and Brazil using both a parametric and a nonparametric approach based on coalescent theory. Our results show that although both subtypes are spreading exponentially in Brazil, the HIV-1C growth rate is about twice that of Brazilian HIV-1B or South African HIV-1C, providing evidence, for the first time, of a different epidemic potential between two HIV-1 subtypes. The present study not only may have important consequences for devising future vaccination and therapeutic strategies, but also offers additional evidence that skyline plots are indeed a simple and powerful tool for monitoring and predicting the behavior of viral epidemics.


Epidemic potential HIV-1B HIV-1C Brazil South Africa AIDS 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Salemi
    • 1
  • Tulio de  Oliveira
    • 2
  • Marcelo A. Soares
    • 3
  • Oliver Pybus
    • 4
  • Ana T. Dumans
    • 5
  • Anne-Mieke Vandamme
    • 6
  • Amilcar Tanuri
    • 3
  • Sharon Cassol
    • 2
  • Walter M. Fitch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of California at IrvineIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Molecular Virology and Bioinformatics UnitAfrica Centre for Health and Population Studies, and the Nelson Mandela School of MedicineDurbanSouth Africa
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Virologia Molecular, Departamento de GeneticaIstituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  4. 4.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  5. 5.Unidade de GeneticaUniversidade do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  6. 6.Rega Institute for Medical ResearchKULeuvenBelgium
  7. 7.Department of PathologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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