HIV-1 subtype C is not associated with higher risk of heterosexual HIV-1 transmission: A multinational study among HIV-1 serodiscordant couples

Erin Kahle, Mary Campbell, Jairam Lingappa, Deborah Donnell, Connie Celum, Connie WOndondo, Andrew Mujugira, Kenneth Fife, Nelly Mugo, Saidi Kapiga, James I. Mullins, Jared M. Baeten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: HIV-1 subtype C has emerged as the most prevalent strain of HIV-1 worldwide, leading to speculation that subtype C may be more transmissible than other subtypes. We compared the risk of HIV-1 transmission for subtype C versus non-C subtypes (A, D, G and recombinant forms) among heterosexual African HIV-1 serodiscordant couples. Methods: We conducted a nested case-control analysis using data from two prospective cohort studies of heterosexual HIV-1 serodiscordant couples from six countries in eastern and southern Africa. Cases (N=121) included incident HIV-1 transmissions that were established as linked within the serodiscordant partnership by viral sequencing; controls (N=501) were nontransmitting HIV-1-infected partners. Subtype was determined for partial env and gag genes. Multiple logistic regression controlled for age and gender of the HIV-1-nfected partner and self-reported unprotected sex. Plasma and genital HIV-1 RNA concentrations were compared between subtype C and non-C subtypes using generalized estimating equations. Results: HIV-1 subtype C was not associated with increased risk of HIV-1 transmission compared with non-C subtypes: env adjusted odds ratio (adjOR) 1.14 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.74-1.75, P=0.6] and gag adjOR 0.98 (95% CI 0.63-1.52, P=0.9). Plasma and genital HIV-1 RNA levels did not differ significantly for subtype C versus non-C. Conclusion: In a geographically diverse population of heterosexual African HIV-1 serodiscordant couples, subtype C was not associated with greater risk of HIV-1 transmission compared with non-C subtypes, arguing against the hypothesis that subtype C is more transmissible compared with other common subtypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-243
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 14 2014

Keywords

  • Africa
  • HIV-1 subtype
  • Serodiscordant couples
  • Transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'HIV-1 subtype C is not associated with higher risk of heterosexual HIV-1 transmission: A multinational study among HIV-1 serodiscordant couples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Kahle, E., Campbell, M., Lingappa, J., Donnell, D., Celum, C., WOndondo, C., Mujugira, A., Fife, K., Mugo, N., Kapiga, S., Mullins, J. I., & Baeten, J. M. (2014). HIV-1 subtype C is not associated with higher risk of heterosexual HIV-1 transmission: A multinational study among HIV-1 serodiscordant couples. AIDS, 28(2), 235-243. https://doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000000024