Evaluation of the HIV-1 Polymerase Gene Sequence Diversity for Prediction of Recent HIV-1 Infections Using Shannon Entropy Analysis

Paballo Nkone, Shayne Loubser, Thomas C. Quinn, Andrew D. Redd, Oliver Laeyendecker, Caroline T. Tiemessen, Simnikiwe H. Mayaphi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

HIV-1 incidence is an important parameter for assessing the impact of HIV-1 interventions. The aim of this study was to evaluate HIV-1 polymerase (pol) gene sequence diversity for the prediction of recent HIV-1 infections. Complete pol Sanger sequences obtained from 45 participants confirmed to have recent or chronic HIV-1 infection were used. Shannon entropy was calculated for amino acid (aa) sequences for the entire pol and for sliding windows consisting of 50 aa each. Entropy scores for the complete HIV-1 pol were significantly higher in chronic compared to recent HIV-1 infections (p < 0.0001) and the same pattern was observed for some sliding windows (p-values ranging from 0.011 to <0.001), leading to the identification of some aa mutations that could discriminate between recent and chronic infection. Different aa mutation groups were assessed for predicting recent infection and their performance ranged from 64.3% to 100% but had a high false recency rate (FRR), which was decreased to 19.4% when another amino acid mutation (M456) was included in the analysis. The pol-based molecular method identified in this study would not be ideal for use on its own due to high FRR; however, this method could be considered for complementing existing serological assays to further reduce FRR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1587
JournalViruses
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • HIV-1 polymerase
  • Shannon entropy
  • chronic HIV-1 infection
  • false recency rate
  • recent HIV-1 infection
  • sanger sequencing
  • sequence diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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