Genotypic Resistance Tests Sequences Reveal the Role of Marginalized Populations in HIV-1 Transmission in Switzerland.

Shilaih, Mohaned; Marzel, Alex; Yang, Wan Lin; Scherrer, Alexandra U; Schüpbach, Jörg; Böni, Jürg; Yerly, Sabine; Hirsch, Hans H; Aubert, Vincent; Cavassini, Matthias; Klimkait, Thomas; Vernazza, Pietro L; Bernasconi, Enos; Furrer, Hansjakob; Günthard, Huldrych F; Kouyos, Roger (2016). Genotypic Resistance Tests Sequences Reveal the Role of Marginalized Populations in HIV-1 Transmission in Switzerland. Scientific Reports, 6(27580), p. 27580. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/srep27580

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Targeting hard-to-reach/marginalized populations is essential for preventing HIV-transmission. A unique opportunity to identify such populations in Switzerland is provided by a database of all genotypic-resistance-tests from Switzerland, including both sequences from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study (SHCS) and non-cohort sequences. A phylogenetic tree was built using 11,127 SHCS and 2,875 Swiss non-SHCS sequences. Demographics were imputed for non-SHCS patients using a phylogenetic proximity approach. Factors associated with non-cohort outbreaks were determined using logistic regression. Non-B subtype (univariable odds-ratio (OR): 1.9; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.8-2.1), female gender (OR: 1.6; 95% CI: 1.4-1.7), black ethnicity (OR: 1.9; 95% CI: 1.7-2.1) and heterosexual transmission group (OR:1.8; 95% CI: 1.6-2.0), were all associated with underrepresentation in the SHCS. We found 344 purely non-SHCS transmission clusters, however, these outbreaks were small (median 2, maximum 7 patients) with a strong overlap with the SHCS'. 65% of non-SHCS sequences were part of clusters composed of >= 50% SHCS sequences. Our data suggests that marginalized-populations are underrepresented in the SHCS. However, the limited size of outbreaks among non-SHCS patients in-care implies that no major HIV outbreak in Switzerland was missed by the SHCS surveillance. This study demonstrates the potential of sequence data to assess and extend the scope of infectious-disease surveillance.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology

UniBE Contributor:

Furrer, Hansjakob


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Nature Publishing Group




Annelies Luginbühl

Date Deposited:

06 Jul 2016 16:31

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:57

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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