Here we describe, for the first time, recombinants between two highly divergent major groups of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), M and O, within a Cameroonian woman infected with three different HIV-1 strains, a group O virus, a subtype D virus, and a recently reported IBNG (A/G)-like recombinant virus. Using nested extra-long PCR amplification, we sequenced from the pol region to the env region including accessory genes of the viral genome obtained from the patient's uncultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells and examined the phylogenetic position of each gene. Compared with sequential blood samples obtained in 1995 and 1996, there were multiple segmental exchanges between three HIV-1 strains (O, D, and IBNG) and all the recombinants appeared to be derived from a common M/O ancestor. Importantly, recombination between groups M and O occurred, even though the homology between these two groups is 69, 76, 68, and 55% in the gag, pol, vif-vpr, and env regions, respectively. Recombination between strains with such distant lineages may contribute substantially to generating new HIV-1 variants.
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