Korean J Blood Transfus.  2012 Dec;23(3):210-216.

Analysis for Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 Subtype in Korean Blood Donors

  • 1Blood Transfusion Research Institute, Korean Red Cross, Seoul, Korea. esachan@hanmail.net
  • 2Blood Service Heaquaters, Korean Red Cross, Seoul, Korea.


Genetic variants of virus appear to differ depending on the country, race, infection route, and so on. To characterize the main HIV subtype in infected blood donors and inquire about the route of HIV infection, we analyzed HIV subtype for samples that showed reactive results on the anti-HIV 1/2 and HIV-1 NAT test from September 2007 to February 2010.
To identify the HIV-1 subtype of the 90 samples that showed reactive results on the anti-HIV test and HIV-1 NAT, we performed HIV 1/2 Western blot assay, HIV RNA quantitative assay, HIV-1 nested PCR, and HIV-1 RNA sequencing.
A total of 85 samples (94.4%) were confirmed to be HIV-1 subtypes. Among them, 82 samples (96.5%) were subtype B; and subtype A, C, and G was confirmed for one case each (1.2% for each case). We could not identify the subtype of the other five samples. One of them was amplified by nested PCR, but was not confirmed of the subtype, and four samples were not amplified even by nested PCR.
The main HIV-1 subtype among the HIV-infected blood donors was confirmed to be subtype B. In addition, we identified one case each of HIV-1 subtype A, C, and G, which was not detected in blood donors in the past. It appeared that the route of HIV infection in Korea had become complicated. Therefore, we concluded that continuous research for HIV subtype analysis and efficient management of blood donors is needed.


Blood donor; HIV-1 subtype; Infection route
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