We analyzed 57 HIV-1 isolates from Cameroon and the Republic of Congo, with respect to the env C2V3 and/or the pol integrase regions. The results indicated that the topology of the pol tree correlated well with that of the env tree for four clusters of subtype D, F G and H, suggesting that these trees reflect the true evolution of the overall genome structures of these subtypes. However, of 22 Cameroonian isolates that were classified as subtype A based on env, 20 of them diverged in their pol sequence into two lineages that were completely different from the prototypical subtype A, tentatively designated as subtypes A1 and A2. The subtype A1 isolates (6 out of 22) were related in their env C2V3 regions with prototypical subtype A strain, but in their pol regions, they formed an independent cluster that diverged from known HIV-1 subtypes so far reported (except for subtypes I and J). The subtype A2 isolates (14 out of 22), which represent the major epidemic type of HIV-1 in Cameroon, clustered distinctly in both the env and pol trees with the recently described A/G mosaic strains from Nigeria and Djibouti. These two lineages were not spreading in the neighboring Republic of Congo.
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