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Evidence for a "Founder Effect" among HIV-infected injection drug users (IDUs) in Pakistan

Author(s): Rai Mohammad | Nerurkar Vivek | Khoja Suhail | Khan Saeed | Yanagihara Richard | Rehman Arish | Kazmi Shahana | Ali Syed

Journal: BMC Infectious Diseases
ISSN 1471-2334

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 7;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background We have previously reported a HIV-1 subtype A infection in a community of injection drug users (IDUs) in Karachi, Pakistan. We now show that this infection among the IDUs may have originated from a single source. Methods Phylogenetic analysis was performed of partial gag sequences, generated using PCR, from 26 HIV-positive IDU samples. Results Our results showed formation of a tight monophyletic group with an intra-sequence identity of < 98% indicating a "founder effect". Our data indicate that the HIV-1 epidemic in this community of IDUs may have been transmitted by an HIV positive overseas contract worker who admitted to having contact with commercial sex workers during stay abroad. Conclusion Specific measures need to implemented to control transmission of HIV infection in Pakistan through infected migrant workers.

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