The global spread of HIV-1 subtype B epidemic

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Magiorkinis G, Angelis K, Mamais I, Katzourakis A, Hatzakis A, Albert J, Lawyer G, Hamouda O, Struck D, Vercauteren J, Wensing A, Alexiev I, Asjo B, Balotta C, Gomes P, Camacho RJ, Coughlan S, Griskevicius A, Grossman Z, Horban A, Kostrikis LG, Lepej SJ, Liitsola K, Linka M, Nielsen C, Otelea D, Paredes R, Poljak M, Puchhammer-Stoekl E, Schmit JC, Sonnerborg A, Stanekova D, Stanojevic M, Stylianou DC, Boucher CAB, Nikolopoulos G, Vasylyeva T, Friedman SR, Van De Vijver D, Angarano G, Chaix ML, De Luca A, Korn K, Loveday C, Soriano V, Yerly S, Zazzi M, Vandamme AM, Paraskevis D
Journal: Infection Genetics and Evolution
Publication year: 2016
Volume: 46
Pages range: 169-179
ISSN: 1567-1348


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) was discovered in the early 1980s when the virus had already established a pandemic. For at least three decades the epidemic in the Western World has been dominated by subtype B infections, as part of a sub-epidemic that traveled from Africa through Haiti to United States. However, the pattern of the subsequent spread still remains poorly understood. Here we analyze a large dataset of globally representative HIV-1 subtype B strains to map their spread around the world over the last 50years and describe significant spread patterns. We show that subtype B travelled from North America to Western Europe in different occasions, while Central/Eastern Europe remained isolated for the most part of the early epidemic. Looking with more detail in European countries we see that the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland exchanged viral isolates with non-European countries than with European ones. The observed pattern is likely to mirror geopolitical landmarks in the post-World War II era, namely the rise and the fall of the Iron Curtain and the European colonialism. In conclusion, HIV-1 spread through specific migration routes which are consistent with geopolitical factors that affected human activities during the last 50years, such as migration, tourism and trade. Our findings support the argument that epidemic control policies should be global and incorporate political and socioeconomic factors.

External institutions with authors

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart / Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Center For Communicable Diseases And AIDS
Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Ocidental E.P.E. (CHLO)
Erasmus University Medical Center
Geneva University Hospitals / Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève (HUG)
Hôpital Necker-Enfants malades
Hospital Carlos III
Institute for Infectious Diseases 'Matei Bals' (IDMB) / Institutul National de Boli Infectioase "Prof. Dr. Matei Bals"
IrsiCaixa Institute for AIDS Research
Karolinska Institute
Karolinska University Hospital / Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) / Catholic University of Leuven
Luxembourg Institute of Health (CRP-Santé)
Max Planck Institute for Informatics / Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik
Medizinische Universität Wien
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases
National Development & Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI)
National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)
Robert Koch-Institut (RKI)
Slovak Medical University (SMU) / Slovenská zdravotnícka univerzita v Bratislave
Statens Serum Institut
Tel Aviv University
The National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) / Státní Zdravotní Ústav (SZÙ)
Università degli studi di Milano
Università degli Studi di Siena (UNISI) / University of Siena
University College Dublin (UCD)
University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMC Utrecht)
University of Belgrade / Универзитет у Београду
University of Bergen / Universitetet i Bergen
University of Cyprus (UCY) / Πανεπιστήμιο Κύπρου
University of Foggia / Università degli studi di Foggia
University of Ljubljana (UL) / Univerza v Ljubljani
University of Oxford
Zagreb University Hospital Centre / Klinički bolnički centar Zagreb (KBC)

How to cite

Magiorkinis, G., Angelis, K., Mamais, I., Katzourakis, A., Hatzakis, A., Albert, J.,... Paraskevis, D. (2016). The global spread of HIV-1 subtype B epidemic. Infection Genetics and Evolution, 46, 169-179.

Magiorkinis, Gkikas, et al. "The global spread of HIV-1 subtype B epidemic." Infection Genetics and Evolution 46 (2016): 169-179.


Last updated on 2018-05-10 at 07:25