The molecular epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 in six cities in Britain and Ireland

A J Brown, D Lobidel, C M Wade, S Rebus, A N Phillips, R P Brettle, A J France, C S Leen, J McMenamin, A McMillan, R D Maw, F Mulcahy, J R Robertson, K N Sankar, G Scott, R Wyld, J F Peutherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have sequenced the p17 coding regions of the gag gene from 211 patients infected either through injecting drug use (IDU) or by sexual intercourse between men from six cities in Scotland, N. England, N. Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. All sequences were of subtype B. Phylogenetic analysis revealed substantial heterogeneity in the sequences from homosexual men. In contrast, sequence from over 80% of IDUs formed a relatively tight cluster, distinct both from those of published isolates and of the gay men. There was no large-scale clustering of sequences by city in either risk group, although a number of close associations between pairs of individuals were observed. From the known date of the HIV-1 epidemic among IDUs in Edinburgh, the rate of sequence divergence at synonymous sites is estimated to be about 0.8%. On this basis we estimate the date of divergence of the sequences among homosexual men to be about 1975, which may correspond to the origin of the B subtype epidemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-177
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 1997


  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Gene Products, gag
  • Genes, gag
  • Great Britain
  • HIV-1
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Male
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous
  • Urban Population


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